Obama urges humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza -UPDATED

Obama, speaking by phone on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stressed the need for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

Obama urges humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza -UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking by phone on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stressed the need for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, the White House said.

Urging a permanent end to hostilities on the basis of the 2012 ceasefire agreement, Obama added that "ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza."

Meanwhile, the Israeli army has instructions from the country's political leadership to abide by the ceasefire in Gaza, an Israeli military source said Sunday.

The source told Anadolu Agency that Israel would trade calm for calm on the Gazan front, but it would respond in kind if Gazans decide to open their firepower on it.

The source, who asked not to be named, added that if Gazans fire rockets at Israel, the country would respond to the source of the rockets.

He said Israel would be committed to calm as long as the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas demonstrates commitment to this calm.

Despite this, the source said Israel would continue to work against tunnels in the Gaza Strip during the ceasefire.

Israel has unilaterally declared a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza for 24 hours that come to an end at midnight on Sunday. Gaza-based resistance factions had, however, initially turned down the ceasefire, before they approved it on Sunday.

Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip - which has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2006 - from air, ground and sea since July 7, leaving 1031 dead and 6233 injured and destroying hundreds of homes.

Israel claims that the military offensive aims at undermining the ability of Gaza's resistance movements to launch rocket attacks

The Israeli offensive – codenamed "Protective Edge" - is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely populated Gaza Strip - home to 1.8 million Palestinians - within the last six years.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Temmuz 2014, 00:20

Muhammed Öylek

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