Kerry announces 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza
Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations announced early Friday. Kerry said the two sides would begin the truce at 8 am local time (0500 GMT) and that Israelis and Palestinians would enter talks in Cairo. The top US diplomat said the ceasefire would last for 72 hours "unless extended." "This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence," the statement said.
U.S., U.N. announce deal on Gaza cease-fire
The United States and United Nations are announcing that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire to start Friday morning for 72 hours.
Israel, Hamas agree on 72-hour humanitarian Gaza ceasefire
UNITED NATIONS/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Israel and Islamist militant group Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in their conflict in the Gaza Strip starting on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday. U.N. Middle East envoy Robert Serry has received assurances that all parties have agreed to the humanitarian ceasefire, 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," Kerry and Ban said. Israel launched its offensive on July 8 after Hamas rocket fire from Gaza intensified.
Mohammed Deif: elusive Hamas military chief defying Israel
Hamas's top military commander Mohammed Deif, who has survived assassination attempts and defied the Middle East's most powerful forces, is proving a redoubtable foe for Israel in its latest incursion in Gaza. As Israel presses its deadly offensive aimed at halting militant rocket fire and eliminating Hamas's tunnel network, Deif has warned there will be no truce in the Palestinian enclave until Israel ends its eight-year blockade. Born in the Khan Yunis refugee camp in southern Gaza in 1965, Deif has been involved in Hamas's operations for more than 20 years, plotting suicide bombings inside Israel, kidnapping soldiers, firing rockets and helping plan the tunnels used to launch attacks.