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United Nations - Israel And Hamas Agree On 72-hour Humanitarian Gaza Ceasefire

Published on: July 31, 2014 05:34 PM
Last updated on: July 31, 2014 06:52 PM
By: AP
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 Israeli women owner of one of the houses that was damaged cry after a rocket fired from Gaza landed directly in the middle of a residential neighborhood in the southern town of Kiryat Gat, Israel, 31 July 2014.  EPA Israeli women owner of one of the houses that was damaged cry after a rocket fired from Gaza landed directly in the middle of a residential neighborhood in the southern town of Kiryat Gat, Israel, 31 July 2014.  EPA

United Nations - Israel and Hamas have agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza to start Friday morning for 72 hours, although Secretary of State John Kerry cautioned that the lull in violence did not guarantee an end to the conflict.

“This is not a time for congratulations or joy or anything except a serious determination — a focus by everybody to try to figure out the road ahead,” Kerry said in New Delhi, where he was meeting with Indian officials. “This is a respite. It is a moment of opportunity, not an end.”

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The U.S. and the United Nations announced the cease-fire in a joint statement.

Israeli and Palestinian delegations were expected to travel immediately to Cairo for talks with the Egyptian government aimed at reaching an end to the conflict, now more than three weeks old.

“It is up to the parties — all of them — to take advantage of this moment,” Kerry said. “There are no guarantees. This is a difficult, complicated issue.”

During the cease-fire, Kerry said Israel will be able to continue its defense operations to destroy tunnels that are behind its territorial lines. The Palestinians will be able to receive food, medicine and humanitarian assistance, bury their dead, treat the wounded and travel to their homes. The time also will be used to make repairs to water and energy systems.

“We hope this moment can be grabbed by both parties, but no one can force them to do that,” Kerry said.

The joint statement said the U.S. and U.N. had gotten assurances that all parties to the conflict in Gaza had agreed to an unconditional cease-fire during which there would be negotiations on a more durable truce.

“Israel has to live without terror and tunnels and rockets and sirens going on through the day,” Kerry said. “Palestinians have to be able to live freely and share in the rest of the world and live a life that is different from the one they have long suffered.”

The Palestinian delegation is expected to include members of Hamas, which the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization and cannot be negotiated with directly. So if the Israelis and Palestinians meet face to face, the Hamas members will not participate in those talks.

The Egyptians will be the go-between for all of this and will help coordinate, a senior State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t allowed to discuss the issue publicly by name.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the cease-fire announcement was the result of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s trip recent trip to the region “but also 48 hours of extremely active diplomacy at all levels from the secretary-general to his senior advisers talking to key regional players as well as Robert Serry, who is in Jerusalem, talking to his counterparts.”

Serry is the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

U.S. Mideast envoy Frank Lowenstein and others were expected to go to Egypt for the Egyptian-mediated talks in Cairo.



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Read Comments (18)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 31, 2014 at 05:51 PM kensingtonian Says:

Hmmm- wonder who will be first to break the cease fire--Hmmm?

2

 Jul 31, 2014 at 05:52 PM rebeli Says:

Finish the job Israel, once and for all, please don't stop now, for your own sake!

3

 Jul 31, 2014 at 06:01 PM newtransplant Says:

Is this the last last chance?

4

 Jul 31, 2014 at 06:03 PM Anonymous Says:

“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. “This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence.”
And to give the terrorists time to regroup.

5

 Jul 31, 2014 at 06:04 PM amerikaner Says:

and what about this ???

Booby-Trapped Explosives Built into Walls of UNRWA Clinic
Over 80 kilograms of explosive material built into rigged UN-funded clinic; no response from UNRWA.

6

 Jul 31, 2014 at 06:07 PM lipa21 Says:

New details have emerged about the booby-trapped clinic explosion that killed three IDF Maglan unit soldiers in Gaza earlier this week - Sergeant First Class Matan Gottlieb, 21, from Rishon LeZion; Sergeant First Class Omar Chai, 21, from Savion; and Sergeant First Class Guy Algranati, 20, of Tel Aviv, hy"d.

Over eighty kilograms of explosives were built into the UN-funded hospital's walls themselves, it was cleared for publication Thursday - revealing that the clinic itself was built to mask, and perform, potential acts of terror on the IDF.

Moreover, the clinic was built over tens of terror tunnels, according to the report.

The UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) has yet to respond to the revelations, and has still not responded to the deaths of the Israeli soldiers Wednesday.

7

 Jul 31, 2014 at 06:12 PM LOL Says:

This will last from תַּעֲנִית אֶסְתֵּר‎ till פּוּרִים

8

 Jul 31, 2014 at 06:44 PM Snaglepuss Says:

Why aren't these people using these 3 days to move as far away as possible from the Israeli border and away from the tunnel areas? What will happen after 72 hours? More restocking of weapons? giving Chamas more time to get THEMselves food and nourishment to have the strength to keep on shooting? Why agree to this. Tell Gazins to take their kids to Egypt? What? They don't want them? Gee I wonder why.

9

 Jul 31, 2014 at 06:48 PM Benjey Says:

And again Israel will seize and hamas will fire

10

 Jul 31, 2014 at 07:18 PM curious Says:

Palease! All that is happening right now is Hamas restocking and regrouping.
They are not partners in and do not want peace.
Not now!
Not ever!
It's the only thing they are truthful about-tabout their determination to make Israel Judenrein.

11

 Jul 31, 2014 at 07:25 PM TexasJew Says:

I'm not a betting man but I doubt it will last 72hrs.
Hopefully they will have a restful shabbos.

12

 Jul 31, 2014 at 08:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Benjey Says:

And again Israel will seize and hamas will fire

I would doubt this statement.

13

 Jul 31, 2014 at 08:48 PM Kzler Says:

I shudder to think to meet any of you based on the posting. So far quite a few IDF soldiers , not Arabs but Yidden lost their lives, fathers, sons and grandsons. Instead of making tefillas to avinu b'shomayim that maybe it will last and lives will be spared all these foolish entries

14

 Jul 31, 2014 at 08:50 PM savtat Says:

Maybe if Hamas doesn't keep to the cease fire, Israel can just bomb them from the air without having to send in ground troops.

15

 Jul 31, 2014 at 10:53 PM Aronowitz Says:

I agree with Mr. Kzler; he has seen war, and is a survivor of the Holocaust. It appears that all of you armchair generals are gung ho about war, when it comes to someone else's son, father or husband, risking their lives, and serving in combat. Look, if even a three day cease fire could save the lives of Yidden, whether soldiers or civilians, then I am in favor of it. Also, it would save the lives of non-combatants on the other side, including women and children. In the meantime, the IDF will still have time to destroy any tunnels on the Israeli side. Therefore, what could be wrong with such an idea, if it would allow some breathing room? Do any of you think that the IDF at the front in combat, is enjoying seeing their buddies killed and wounded, every day? War is hell; as General of the Army Douglas MacArthur once stated "The soldier prays for peace".

16

 Jul 31, 2014 at 11:12 PM Benjey Says:

Reply to #14  
savtat Says:

Maybe if Hamas doesn't keep to the cease fire, Israel can just bomb them from the air without having to send in ground troops.

The troops are in gaza and are staying in gaza for the seize fire

17

 Jul 31, 2014 at 11:20 PM ShlomoM Says:

Reply to #7  
LOL Says:

This will last from תַּעֲנִית אֶסְתֵּר‎ till פּוּרִים

So call it "פורים משולש"

18

 Aug 01, 2014 at 12:01 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Kzler Says:

I shudder to think to meet any of you based on the posting. So far quite a few IDF soldiers , not Arabs but Yidden lost their lives, fathers, sons and grandsons. Instead of making tefillas to avinu b'shomayim that maybe it will last and lives will be spared all these foolish entries

No need to shudder, except you need to use your common sense and realize that this is not going to happen. Much as the world and Israel particularly needs peace with it's enemies, the enemies are not interested in peace as history has shown. So what exactly are YOU talking about? Do you even know what you are saying?Davening and saying tehillim has nothing to do with it. We are all reciting both...but we are dealing with terrorists. Do you understand the meaning of the word...and their agenda?. Guess not.

19

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