Smoke in the Air, Blood in the Streets: Gaza Before the Cease-Fire

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have announced that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.

The cease-fire is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. local time on Friday and continue through the weekend. Its stated goal is to allow Gazans a momentary reprieve to obtain urgently needed humanitarian relief, the parties said in a joint statement.

This cease-fire 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, taking care of the injured, and restocking food supplies. Overdue repairs on essential water and energy infrastructure could also continue during this period. Read more…

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