London: After a steadfast refusal to accept a long-standing truce, Israel and Hamas have agreed to abide by an unconditional 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza from 05:00 GMT on Friday.

According to the BBC, a joint statement issued by the United States and United Nations asked the two sides to act with restraint until the ceasefire begins. The move is aimed at providing the civilians some respite from violence and will allow them to perform vital functions like, burying the dead, nursing the injured and stocking food supplies.

Officials from both Israel and Hamas confirmed that they had accepted the truce.

Delegations from both the sides have also accepted Egypt’s invitation to Cairo for negotiating a long-standing ceasefire with the Egyptian government, the report added.

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry said that Israel will, however, continue destroying the tunnels that are behind its lines. Israel claims that Hamas uses these tunnels to launch attacks inside Israel.

Kerry refrained from calling the decision an end to the conflict in Gaza but added that it must be looked at as an opportunity to figure out the road ahead.

Almost 1,420 Palestinians and sixty-one Israeli soldiers have been killed in the conflict which began on July 8.

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