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Israel and Hamas agree to 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire says White House and UN

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire from tomorrow morning, the United States and the United Nations announced.

A joint statement by America and the UN said tonight they received assurances that all parties to the conflict had agreed to an unconditional ceasefire during which there would be negotiations on a more durable truce.

The statement was released in New Delhi, where US secretary of state John Kerry is meeting Indian officials.

"This humanitarian ceasefire will commence at 8am local time on Friday, August 1, 2014. It will last for a period of 72 hours unless extended. During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place," the statement said.

"We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire."

The statement said the ceasefire was critical to give civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence. During this period, civilians in Gaza will receive humanitarian relief and have time to bury the dead, take care of the injured and restock food supplies.

The time also will be used to repair water and energy infrastructure.

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