UPDATE: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have declared the cease-fire officially over, blaming Hamas for continued violence even under the break from heavy fighting.
"Israel announces that Hamas has thus ended the humanitarian ceasefire and prevented the residents of Gaza from benefiting from it," a spokesperson for IDF said in a statement Friday morning.
"Israel will take strong action in response to the aggression of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip."
(WASHINGTON) -- A 72-hour ceasefire in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict was announced by the United Nations and Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, says the ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much needed reprieve from violence.
"During this period, civilians in Gaza will receive urgently needed humanitarian relief and the opportunity to carry out vital functions, including burying the dead," Dujarric said.
"Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately be going to Cairo for negotiations with the government of Egypt," Dujarric added.
Kerry, speaking in New Delhi, said, "It is a lull of opportunity. A moment for the sides, the different factions to come together with the state of Israel in an effort to try to address ways to find a sustainable ceasefire."
The ceasefire will begin at 1 a.m. ET.
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