New 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza welcomed by UN chief

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Palestinians search through the rubble of their home destroyed by Israeli strikes in Khuza’a, southern Gaza Strip. Credit: UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

A new three-day humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza announced by Israelis and Palestinians has been welcomed by the United Nations Secretary-General.

Israelis and Palestinians meeting in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, announced on Sunday that they had accepted the unconditional humanitarian ceasefire.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General expresses his strong hope that this will give the two sides, under Egyptian auspices, another chance to agree on a durable ceasefire.

Secretary-General Ban says this will benefit all civilian populations and he also hopes that it can be a starting point to address the underlying grievances on both sides.

Mr. Ban continues to urge all concerned to work constructively to this end and to avoid any steps which would lead to a return to violence, the statement adds.

When the first humanitarian ceasefire expired on Friday, the death toll of Palestinians was reported to be over 1, 900, of whom more than 1,400 are believed to be civilians.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration:  1’20″

 

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