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New Gaza ceasefire comes into effect

A new 72-hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt between Palestinian groups and Israel in Gaza came into effect on Monday. "This truce is aimed at facilitating the movement of humanitarian aid supplies; repairing infrastructure and resuming indirect talks between the two parties in hopes of reaching a permanent, comprehensive ceasefire," the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. There have been no reported violations of the ceasefire so far. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the truce and urged all parties to avoid taking any steps that would lead to a resumption of violence. According to a statement from his spokesman, Ban expressed “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." “[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.”

Indirect talks between Palestinian and Israeli delegations for a durable settlement in Gaza have started in the Egyptian capital Cairo. The Israel team arrived in Cairo a short time after their government approved an Egyptian proposal to implement a three-day ceasefire starting from Monday, according to a diplomatic source. The source expected Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to reach a final settlement either on Tuesday or Wednesday. "The conditions are positive this time, which has been manifest by both sides' approval of Egypt's ceasefire proposal," the source said on condition of anonymity. The ceasefire came into effect on Monday following more than a month of Israeli attacks that have seen more than 1,900 Palestinians killed and 10,000 injured.

According to Israeli figures, 64 soldiers and three civilians have been killed. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced on Monday that Turkey plans to receive at least 200 patients from Gaza. Four, including a child, have already arrived in Turkey for medical treatment, Health Ministry officials said.

The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate said 11,000 aid packages were due to have arrived in Gaza on Monday. It said in a statement that, in cooperation with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, Turkey is opening a humanitarian air corridor.

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