Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

26 August 2014

Egypt: Update - Egypt-Sponsored Gaza Ceasefire Enforced

Cairo — Egypt announced on Tuesday reaching a ceasefire agreement within the Gaza strip, which went into effect at 7 pm simultaneously with opening the Israeli border crossings with the strip.

Opening the borders would allow humanitarian aid to swiftly make its way to the besieged strip, Egypt's foreign ministry said in a statement. The agreement also involves granting Gazan fishermen 6 nautical miles in the sea.

Indirect negotiations between both parties, sponsored by Cairo, will resume within a month after the start of the new ceasefire, the ministry added.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas confirmed the "comprehensive and permanen" agreement in a televised press conference on Tuesday evening.

The foreign ministry stressed Egypt's commitment to achieving the aspirations of the Palestinian people. It added that it is keen on strengthening peace and stability within the region through the formation of an independent Palestinian state.

"Egypt values the efforts exerted by the United States and the role it plays within this context," the ministry's statement read.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesman of Gaza's ruler Hamas, announced that an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians has been reached.

Egypt has been trying to enforce a lasting ceasefire agreement for over a month to end the fighting in Gaza, ongoing since July 8. Until Tuesday, negotiations only helped reach short-lived ceasefire truces, the latest expiring last Tuesday.

The last ceasefire was breached hours before it expired, reigniting the fighting which has left over 2130 Palestinians killed, including over 490 children, and at least 11,100 injured. Sixty-four soldiers and four civilians have also been killed in Israel.

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