UNITED NATIONS, August 5 (Itar-Tass) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the ceasefire declared in Gaza and urged the conflict sides to observe the ceasefire regime.
"The Secretary-General welcomes the efforts leading to a new ceasefire as announced today. He commends the parties for committing to this ceasefire of 72 hours, to begin Tuesday, 5 August, at 08:00am, local time (09:00am, Moscow time), and calls on them to abide by it. Until the start of the ceasefire, the parties must exercise the utmost restraint," the UN said in a statement.
"The Secretary-General urges the parties to commence, as soon as possible, talks in Cairo on a durable ceasefire and the underlying issues.
In this regard, he welcomes the proactive engagement of the Palestinian delegation under the leadership of President Abbas. Such talks are the only way to sustainably stop the violence, which has cost far too many lives, and to change the untenable and tragic status quo in Gaza. The United Nations stands ready to lend its full support to these efforts," the statement says.
Itar-Tass correspondent in Tel Aviv Andrei Shirokov reported earlier that Israel would accept the ceasefire conditions in Gaza, proposed by Egypt. The HAMAS group has also said in was ready for a three-day armistice, Reuters reported.
The 72-hour ceasefire is expected to allow the sides to launch the negotiating process for stopping hostilities in Gaza. According to some reports, Egypt has already invited the Israeli and Palestinian delegations to Cairo for talks on long-term ceasefire.