Middle East Unrest

Israel, Palestinians 72-Hour Cease-Fire Takes Effect


Israeli officials and a Palestinian delegation in Cairo have accepted an Egyptian proposal for a 72-hour cease-fire to the war in Gaza, officials said on Sunday. A statement from Egypt's Foreign Ministry said the cease-fire took effect at midnight Monday Cairo time, or 5 p.m. ET Sunday.

The pause in hostilities is intended to create an "atmosphere for humanitarian assistance and repair of infrastructure and use ceasefire to launch indirect negotiations between both parties immediately and continuously and work through it to achieve full and permanent cease fire," the ministry said.

Egypt brokered a similar pact last week but after three days Palestinian militants resumed rocket fire at Israel and new fighting erupted. Israeli officials, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said they were wary after last week's breakdown. The Arab League is planning to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss Gaza.

Seven people were killed in Gaza on Sunday, and 16 died from their wounds or were found beneath rubble, the Gaza Health Ministry said. The death toll there in the month-long conflict rose to 1,939. The Israel Army said that 39 rockets were fired from Gaza Sunday, including one just before the start of the midnight cease-fire. The rocket fell in an open area in Tel Aviv.


— Hasani Gittens, Tim Stelloh and Charlene Gubash