The state of Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas started a 72-hour ceasefire on Friday morning. The halt in hostilities was engineered by America's Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.N. Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon. The humanitarian truce will give Palestinians time to restock on basic supplies such as food and medicines. They also need to repair power stations which have been put out of action during the fighting of the past three weeks. Israelis and Palestinians are also to meet in Cairo, Egypt to talk about the possibility of a permanent truce between the two sides. They will talk about resolving the underlying differences that have caused unrest for decades.
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Hamas said it would abide by the pause in fighting. Its spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: "Acknowledging a call by the United Nations and in consideration of the situation of our people, resistance factions agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian and mutual calm…as long as the other side abides by it." He added: "All the Palestinian factions are united behind the issue." The day before the ceasefire was announced, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would continue to destroy the tunnels that have been dug under the Gaza-Israel border. John Kerry called the ceasefire "precious time." He said: "It is a moment for the different factions to be able to come together with the state of Israel."