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72-hour humanitarian ceasefire starts in Gaza

August 01, 2014, 11:51 UTC+3 TEL-AVIV
The joint statement said that UN special envoy in Jerusalem Robert Serry, who is a special UN coordinator of the Middle East peace process, received guarantees from different parties to the conflict
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©  EPA/OLIVER WEIKEN

TEL-AVIV, August 01. /ITAR-TASS/. A 3-day ceasefire has started in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning.

Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas agreed to stop hostilities in the Gaza Strip for 72 hours, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a joint statement made overnight.

The joint statement said that UN special envoy in Jerusalem Robert Serry, who is a special UN coordinator of the Middle East peace process, received specific guarantees from different parties to the conflict.

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Israel’s army and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office officially confirmed their consent on ceasefire. Meanwhile, Israeli army said that they would keep destroying tunnels in Palestinian enclave despite suspension of hostilities.

The State of Palestine officially confirmed its agreement on ceasefire. “We agreed on a 3-day humanitarian mutual ceasefire until the opposing party (Israel) observes it,” Hamas official spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Troops should not move during the ceasefire. This condition will allow distributing humanitarian aid among Gaza residents, cure wounded people and bury the dead. The ceasefire may be extended in case of successful talks in Cairo where Israeli and Palestinian delegations went.

Since the start of Israeli Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip on July 8 61 Israeli servicemen and three civilians, including a Thai citizen, have been killed. According to Palestinian sources, 1,437 have died and 8,265 have been wounded in the Gaza Strip for 24 days of the military operation. The Protective Edge death toll exceeded that of bloodiest Israeli operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in December-January 2008-2009. As many as 1,417 Palestinians were killed and 5,303 were wounded in that operation.

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