MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and expressed his hope for a durable ceasefire that would allow to address the underlying issues of the two sides of the conflict, a UN statement said.
“The Secretary-General welcomes today’s announcement by Egypt that the Israelis and the Palestinians have accepted another 72 hours' unconditional humanitarian ceasefire,” the statement said.
It was noted that Ban Ki-moon “expresses his strong hope that this will give the two sides, under Egyptian auspices, another chance to agree on a durable ceasefire for the benefit of all civilian populations and as a starting point to address the underlying grievances on both sides.”
According to the statement, the secretary-general strongly urged to abstain from resorting to violence again and called for constructive cooperation.
The second three-day truce entered into force on Monday. Egypt, which is mediating the dialogue between Israel and Hamas, urged the warring sides to agree to a 72-hour ceasefire and make another attempt at negotiations.
Earlier on, Israel and Hamas had already agreed on a three-day ceasefire but the latter resumed attacks and Israel responded with renewed Gaza shelling and withdrew from the ceasefire negotiations in Cairo.
On July 8, Israel launched an offensive against the Hamas movements in response to their attacks. On July 17, after several days of air and naval attacks, the Israeli switched to a ground offensive to destroy the network of Hamas tunnels around the border area.