UNITED NATIONS, July 26, 22:21 /ITAR-TASS/. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Israel and Hamas to try to announce a seven-day truce for providing assistance to civilians.
Earlier, Israel agreed to extend a 12-hour humanitarian truce by four hours, until midnight (2100 GMT), Israeli television says.
The efforts taken by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon helped to extend the ceasefire in Gaza. Kerry also took part in a meeting of foreign ministers of seven nations in Paris to persuade the conflicting parties to extend the truce.
The humanitarian pause is a welcome relief, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary General said.
“Images of Gazans trying to return to their daily lives while taking care of their wounded and attending to their dead make it clear that we owe to the people of of both Israel and Gaza our renewed effort to consolidate this pause in fighting into a more sustainable ceasefire,” the statement reads.
“[Ban] therefore urgently appeals once again to all parties to declare a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as a prelude to renewing a political process as the only way of achieving a durable peace,” it says.
According to latest data, the overall death count in Gaza for the 19 days of the operation nears 1,100 people. Some 6,000 Palestinians have been wounded. Israel lost 40 soldiers and two civilians.