Gaza ceasefire welcomed by UN chiefListen /
The efforts leading to a new ceasefire announced by Israelis and Palestinians have been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.
Late on Monday, the two parties agreed on a 72-hour truce starting on Tuesday morning at 8:00 local time.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commends the parties for committing to this ceasefire and calls on them to abide by it.
Secretary-General Ban also urges the Israelis and Palestinians to start as soon as possible talks in Cairo on a durable ceasefire and the underlying issues.
In this regard, he adds, he welcomes the proactive engagement of the Palestinian delegation, led by President Mahmoud Abbas.
Mr. Ban stresses that such talks are "the only way to sustainably stop the violence which has cost far too many lives" and to change what he describes as the "untenable and tragic status quo in Gaza."
According to reports, over 1, 800 Palestinians have died and nearly 10,000 have been wounded in the Gaza conflict.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.