Israel and Hamas Agree to 72-Hour Ceasefire
Israel and Hamas have reportedly agreed to a US and UN brokered 72-hour ceasefire that is set to begin Friday at 8:00 a.m. local time.
Israel has now agreed to over eight humanitarian ceasefires. All of the truces that Hamas had also signed on to were violated by the terror group shortly thereafter.
The IDF has called up an additional 16,000 reserves, stacking its ranks to 86,000, the highest number since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.
Thursday was day 24 of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s response to indiscriminate and unprovoked rocket fire from terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Hamas fired 90 rocket attacks at Israel Thursday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday, “We have neutralized dozens of terror tunnels and we are committed to complete this mission, with or without a ceasefire.”
An Israeli cabinet member told Ynet News that Israel would continue its operations destroying Hamas terror tunnels during the ceasefire.
The UN released a statement on the matter:
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United States Secretary of State John Kerry announce that the United Nations Representative in Jerusalem, Special Coordinator Robert Serry, has received assurances that all parties have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. 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. The parties will be able to raise all issues of concern in these negotiations,” which are set to take place in Egypt once the ceasefire commences Friday morning. We thank key regional stakeholders for their vital support of this process, and count on a continued collaborative international effort to assist Egypt and the parties reach a durable ceasefire as soon as possible.”