Talks in Egypt follow start of Gaza cease-fire - KCTV5

Talks in Egypt follow start of Gaza cease-fire

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Israeli officials have stressed that Hamas tunnels into Israel from Gaza must be eliminated. (Source: CNN) Israeli officials have stressed that Hamas tunnels into Israel from Gaza must be eliminated. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Following an escalation in violence in Gaza and Israel on Thursday, parties have finally agreed to send delegations to Cairo for peace talks. A statement from the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that these talks are aimed at "reaching a durable cease-fire."

U.N. and U.S. representatives also announced that both parties have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.

It starts early Friday morning and will last some 72 hours, unless it's extended.

"During this period, civilians in Gaza will receive urgently needed humanitarian relief, and the opportunity to carry out vital functions, including burying the dead, taking care of the injured, and restocking food supplies,” said Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.

Earlier the Israeli military announced it’s calling up nearly 16,000 reserves to bolster its forces in its fight against Hamas.

In Gaza, residents say finding safe shelter is proving difficult.

"I all the time feel unsafe because I can be bombed any moment," said Farah Baker, a Palestinian living in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows to destroy Hamas tunnels, with or without a cease-fire.

The U.N. Security Council held an emergency session to discuss Wednesday's attack on a U.N. school sheltering thousands of Palestinians - 20 people were killed.

"I have heard the same messages time and time again, ‘If we are not safe in a UNRWA school, we are not safe anywhere in Gaza,’ they say," said Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner general of the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency).

U.S. officials have urged Israel to step up and protect civilians.

The Israeli foreign ministry said it sent dozens of trucks carrying food, medicine, fuel and supplies to Gaza.

At the same time, the U.S. has agreed to resupply Israel with certain types of ammunition.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

 

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