[Palestinian children look for books]
A Gaza ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians started at 7:00 pm Tuesday (1600 GMT) and provides for an immediate opening of Israeli border crossings to aid and reconstruction supplies, an Egyptian foreign ministry statement said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and an unnamed Israeli official have also confirmed the acceptance of the Egyptian truce proposal.
Alongside a comprehensive ceasefire, the two sides agreed to the “simultaneous opening of the border crossings between Israel and Gaza to enable the rapid entry of humanitarian aid and relief and reconstruction supplies,” the statement said.
The Egyptian-brokered deal also provides for the immediate extension to six nautical miles off the Gaza coast of the limit imposed by Israel on the territory’s fishermen.
It foresees “continuation of indirect negotiations between the two sides on other matters within one month of the ceasefire taking effect.”
Abbas announced the truce during a speech in Ramallah.
“We announce the Palestinian leadership’s agreement to Egypt’s call for a comprehensive and lasting truce, beginning at 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) today,” he said in a televised address at the start of a leadership meeting in the West Bank city.