TEL AVIV, August 1 (RIA Novosti) – Israel has officially announced that it has accepted a US/UN proposal for a three-day humanitarian ceasefire beginning 8:00 a.m. (05:00 GMT) Friday, August 1, 2014, the Office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
“Under the authority granted to the prime minister and defense minister by the military-political cabinet, Israel has accepted the US/UN proposal for a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire,” the statement said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced overnight into Friday that both sides have agreed to make a “humanitarian pause” and at the same time start negotiations in Cairo over a long-term settlement of underlying disputes.
Hamas has also confirmed, “all the Palestinian factions are united behind the issue in this regard.”
The ceasefire allows Israel to continue the destruction of tunnels that Palestinian militants use to smuggle arms and secretly enter Israeli territory.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to put an end to rocket fire from Gaza on July 8. On July 17, the Israeli Army switched to a ground assault largely aimed at locating and destroying rocket launchers and underground tunnels. More than 1,400 Palestinians and nearly 60 Israelis have been killed since the offensive began.