Israel accepts 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza

Jerusalem – Israel confirmed on Friday it has accepted a proposal for a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas, which starts at 0500 GMT.

“Israel has accepted the U.S. /UN proposal for a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire beginning 8:00 am Friday (local time),” a senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.

On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire beginning Friday, during which time Israelis and Palestinians would enter talks in Cairo on a durable truce.

“This humanitarian ceasefire will commence at 8am local time on Friday, August 1, 2014,” said a Ban-Kerry joint statement, read out to the press in Jerusalem by Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

“It will last for a period of 72 hours unless extended. During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place.