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Turkey urges sides to abide by 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza

 "This ceasefire should be considered as an opportunity. It is not right to end it by accusing Palestinian factions," Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters on Friday. "It should go into effect immediately and all sides should adhere to it." Davutoglu said that he talked to Hamas leader Khaled Mashal on the phone and was informed that they [Hamas] had to respond to Israeli attacks as it intensified its offensive ahead of the start of the ceasefire. Mashal reaffirmed their commitment to the ceasefire unless Israel breaks it, Davutoglu added.  Israel declared the collapse of the ceasefire on Friday. The ceasefire, which came into effect at 08:00 local time on Friday, was declared by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, to help Palestinian civilians to stock up on food. The truce came after 25 days of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, which have killed at least 1,458 Palestinians – mostly civilians – and injured more than 8,300 others. Israel claims that the offensive is aimed at undermining the ability of Palestinian factions to fire rockets at Israeli cities. According to Israeli figures, at least 61 soldiers have been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters and three civilians by rocket fire.

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