Israel on Sunday accepted an Egyptian proposal for a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza which will go into force within hours, government officials said.
“Israel has accepted the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire,” an official told AFP shortly after a Palestinian source confirmed accepting the initiative which would see both sides halt fire just after midnight (2101 GMT).
“Israel has responded positively to an Egyptian proposal for a 72-hour ceasefire,” another official said.
“Last time, Hamas broke another Egyptian proposed ceasefire by firing at Israel even before the 72 hours was up,” he said.
He was referring to a three-day ceasefire which began on August 5, bringing relief to millions but which Hamas refused to extend, firing rockets at Israel several hours before it formally expired at 0500 GMT on Friday.
Earlier, a Palestinian official with the delegation in Cairo said Egypt had managed to secure agreement from both sides to hold their fire after more than a month of fighting.
He said Egypt had received “simultaneous consensus” from both sides.
Israel’s negotiating team was expected to travel to Cairo after the truce was up and running, an official said.
Egypt urged both sides to observe the new temporary lull.
“As the events continue to escalate in the Gaza Strip, and given the necessity to protect innocent blood, Egypt calls on both sides, Israelis and Palestinians, to commit to a 72-hour ceasefire effective Monday 00:01 Cairo time (21:01 GMT Sunday) … and during this time work to reach a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire,” a foreign ministry statement said.
Some 2,000 people have died in Gaza in the fighting over the past month. Israel says 750-1,000 of the dead are Hamas and other gunmen. It also blames Hamas for all civilian fatalities, since Hamas set up its rocket-launchers, tunnel openings and other elements of its war machine in Gaza neighborhoods and uses Gazans as “human shields.”
Israel has lost 64 soldiers and three civilians in the fighting. Eleven of the soldiers were killed by Hamas gunmen emerging from cross-border tunnels dug under the Israeli border. Hamas has fired over 3,000 rockets at Israel, including some 600 from close to schools, mosques and other civilian facilities, the Israeli army says.
Times of Israel contributed to this report.