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US welcomes 72-hour Gaza truce

"These are the outcomes for which Secretary Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban and all of our international partners have been working toward over the last few weeks, and we very much hope that the ceasefire will help achieve these goals," a statement by the U.S. State Department read. Commending the Egyptian government and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for their efforts in brokering the ceasfire, it said the U.S. would work to stop the violence and address the underlying issues through a durable and sustainable solution. "The United States has been steadfast in our insistence on an end to rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and an end to the suffering of the people of Gaza," the statement read. Meanwhile, Amnesty International on Monday called on the U.S. government to immediately halt the transfer of a U.S. fuel shipment currently on its way to Israel for use by the Israeli military. The human rights organisation has accused the U.S. government of continuing to supply hundreds of thousands of tons of fuel, including fuel for fighter jets and military vehicles, to Israel’s armed forces despite a soaring civilian death toll from aerial and other military attacks. A fuel tanker with the latest U.S. fuel shipment is now sailing past the Azores and is due to arrive in Israel on 12 August, says Amnesty.  Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday also accused Israeli forces of deliberately killing civillians between July 23 and 25, 2014, who were not participating in the war but were trying to flee to nearby Israeli border town, Khan Younis. At least 1867 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and 9450 wounded in unrelenting Israeli attacks since then. The Israeli army says that 64 of its troops have been killed and 400 others injured in the ongoing Gaza military operation. Turkey supports 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza

Turkey has welcomed Egypt's proposal of a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza that came into effect at 08:00 local time on Tuesday.

Turkey urged Israel to stop its attacks on the Gaza Strip and called on both sides to avoid any steps that would violate the three-day ceasefire. 

"We wish that this truce will form the required basis for negotiations to reach a lasting ceasefire in Gaza," a statement by the Turkish foreign ministry read. 

"It should be understood that a lasting ceasefire in the region will only be possible with the lifting of the blockade in Gaza," it added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also said on his offical twitter account that he was pleased that the ceasefire was reinstated.

Davutoglu said that he talked to Hamas leader Khaled Mashal on the phone and was informed that the ceasefire was being implemented.

The ceasefire started amid hopes that it will hold to give the two sides enough time to reach a durable truce.

Last Friday, a similar ceasefire crumbled two hours after it had come into effect when Israel resumed its aerial strikes against the blockaded Gaza Strip, claiming that Gaza-based groups had kidnapped an Israeli soldier.

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