Israel confirmed Friday it has accepted a proposal for a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas, which starts at 0500 GMT.

"Israel has accepted the U.S./UN proposal for a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire beginning 8.00 a.m. Friday (local time)," Xinhua quoted a senior Israeli official as saying while requesting anonymity.

Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced Thursday that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire beginning Friday, during which time Israelis and Palestinians would enter talks in Cairo on a durable truce.

"This humanitarian ceasefire will commence at 8 a.m. local time on Friday, August 1, 2014," said a Ban-Kerry joint statement read out to the press here by Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

"It will last for a period of 72 hours unless extended. During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place."

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