CAIRO: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, which the Israeli Security Cabinet accepted Tuesday morning, Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department Marie Harf said.
“The Egyptian proposal for ceasefire and negotiations provides an opportunity to end the violence and restore calm,” Kerry said.
He urged all concerned parties to accept the proposal and welcomed the Israeli cabinet’s decision to accept it, Harf added.
The Israeli Cabinet decided to respond positively to the Egyptian proposal starting Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Tuesday.
Egypt launched the proposal on Monday aiming to end the conflict between Gaza and Israel after the beginning of the Israeli military operation. The attacks resulted in the deaths of more than more 180 Palestinian and injured thousands, according to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry’s statement.
The terms of the proposal as published on Youm7 stipulated Egypt’s call for immediate ceasefire from both sides; Israel and all Palestinian factions should stop hostilities via air, water, and land. It also noted that all borders should be open for the passage of persons and goods.
According to the proposal, the discussions over the truce will take place between both sides on July 15 at 6:00 a.m. Cairo local time. If both sides agree to the terms of the truce without conditions, a ceasefire will start 12 hours following the declaration of the Egyptian initiative’s success.
Kerry‘s scheduled visit to Cairo was delayed Tuesday to allow the “Egyptian mediation efforts a chance to take,” CNN quoted U.S. officials.
Kerry called on his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry Monday to discuss the latest Palestine-Israel conflict and Egypt’s efforts to stop the escalation of Israeli strikes on Gaza.
The latest Israeli raids on Gaza began July 1, a day after Israeli authorities found the bodies of three kidnapped settlers in the West Bank. The body of Palestinian Mohamed Abo Khodeir, 16, was later found mutilated and burned, in what was widely interpreted as an act of revenge for the death of the Israelis.
The Israeli military said it attacked 34 targets in Gaza, mostly belonging to Hamas, claiming that it did not link the strikes to the abductions, Reuters reported. Hamas started launching rockets into Israel in its latest campaign on July 4, the Jerusalem Post reported.