In a statement released by the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry said they had received “assurances that all parties have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.”
During the ceasefire negotiations will be held in Egypt to end the conflict. Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had previously said he would not agree to a truce until all “terror tunnels” in the Gaza Strip had been destroyed.
Pressure has been building in the last day, however, after a UN school in Gaza was shelled. Josh Earnest, White House spokesman, said there was little doubt that the artillery that hit the school on Wednesday had been fired by Israel.
Mr Kerry, speaking in New Delhi, said a US delegation would be sent to Cairo to address Israel’s security concerns. He pledged humanitarian aid to the war zone.
Here are details from the statement:
This humanitarian ceasefire will commence at 8 am local time on Friday, August 1, 2014. It will last for a period of 72 hours unless extended. During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place.
We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire.
This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence. During this period, civilians in Gaza will receive urgently needed humanitarian relief, and the opportunity to carry out vital functions, including burying the dead, taking care of the injured and restocking food supplies. Overdue repairs on essential water and energy infrastructure could also continue during this period.
Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately be going to Cairo for negotiations with the Government of Egypt, at the invitation of Egypt, aimed at reaching a durable ceasefire. The parties will be able to raise all issues of concern in these negotiations.