Israeli soldiers are seen atop a tank outside the central Gaza Strip July 31, 2014. I
Baz Ratner/Reuters

UN, Kerry announce cease-fire in Gaza


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United States Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday announced an “unconditional humanitarian cease-fire” in Gaza.

The United Nations representative in Jerusalem, Special Coordinator Robert Serry, received promises that all parties have agreed to the cease-fire, according to a joint statement from the U.N. and State Department.

Shortly after the announcement, Hamas’ top official, Izzat al-Rishq, announced on Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV that his group has agreed to the cease-fire.

It is set to commence at 8 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) on Friday, August 1, and will last for a period of 72 hours unless extended. “During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place,” they said.

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