The U.S. and U.N. announced Thursday that all parties in the Israeli-Gaza conflict have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire, the longest so far.
The current conflict, which is in its fourth week, has taken a heavy toll on civilians. More than 1,400 people are estimated to have been killed so far, and civilians are believed to make up around 80 percent of the casualties. (Via Israel Defense Forces)
In a joint statement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the 72-hour window will give the population a much-needed breather.
"During this period, civilians in Gaza will receive urgently needed humanitarian relief, and the opportunity to carry out vital functions, including burying the dead, taking care of the injured and restocking food supplies."
This is actually the third cease-fire so far in the conflict. During the other two, the Israeli military held its fire, even while some militants in Gaza continued to launch rockets across the border. But this time may be different.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier in the day that the Israel Defense Forces would continue finding and destroying the tunnel system that connects Israel and Gaza — cease-fire or no cease-fire. (Via YouTube / IsraeliPM)
Around the same time, the IDF announced it would call up 16,000 reservists to help carry out the mission. So some fighting is likely to continue, though it likely won't hit civilian areas. (Via Fox News)
There was also some good news in the announcement: representatives from both sides are headed to Cairo to try to hammer out a longer-term agreement.