UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomes the news of a fresh 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and urges the two sides to work towards a longer-term truce.
The latest ceasefire began at 12:01 am on Monday (2101 GMT Sunday), after days of frantic mediation.
Ban “expresses his strong hope that this will give the two sides, under Egyptian auspices, another chance to agree on a durable ceasefire for the benefit of all civilian populations and as a starting point to address the underlying grievances on both sides,” a statement from his spokesman says.
The UN chief “continues to urge all concerned to work constructively to this end and avoid any steps which would lead to a return to violence.”
“The United Nations stands ready to assist in the implementation of an agreement that would consolidate peace and allow for much needed reconstruction and development of Gaza,” the statement adds.