Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip starting on Friday, Reuters reported, citing a joint announcement by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday.
“Forces on the ground will remain in place” during the truce, the statement said.
“We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire,” it said. “This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence.”
Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately travel to Cairo for negotiations with the Egyptian government to reach a durable ceasefire.
At least 1,427 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and nearly 7,000 wounded in the conflict, which started on July 8, the report said. On the Israeli side, 56 soldiers have been killed and some 400 wounded. Two Israeli civilians and a Thai national have been killed in Israel.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday accused both sides of violating the rules of war, with the Islamist militant group “locating rockets within schools and hospitals, or even launching these rockets from densely populated areas” and Israel attacking civilian zones in Gaza such as schools, hospitals, homes and UN facilities, BBC News said.
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