(WASHINGTON) — A 72-hour ceasefire in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict was announced by the United Nations and Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, says the 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,” Dujarric said.
“Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately be going to Cairo for negotiations with the government of Egypt,” Dujarric added.
Kerry, speaking in New Delhi, said, “It is a lull of opportunity. A moment for the sides, the different factions to come together with the state of Israel in an effort to try to address ways to find a sustainable ceasefire.”
The ceasefire will begin at 1 a.m. ET.
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Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN
Ashley Fantz, AnneClaire Stapleton and Ed Payne, CNN Newswire