CBS News – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry say a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire will go into effect in Gaza beginning Friday morning, according to a statement.
News of the ceasefire comes as United Nations Special Coordinator Robert Serry in Jerusalem has “received assurances” that both Israeli and Hamas forces have agreed to stop the attacks.
“This cease-fire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence,” according to the joint statement. “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.”
Israeli and Palestinian officials are expected to meet in Cairo at the invitation of the Egyptian government to discuss a more long-term cease-fire.
The statement, which was announced Thursday evening, was released in New Delhi, where Secretary of State John Kerry is now meeting with Indian officials.