72-hour Gaza ceasefire an opportunity to find solution: Kerry

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John Kerry
Jerusalem, Aug 1: Israel and Hamas have agreed to an unconditional 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, the US and UN announced today with Secretary of state John Kerry saying that the deal is an opportunity to find a long-term truce solution.

"This is not a time for congratulations and joy, or anything except a serious determination, a focus by everybody to try to figure out the road ahead. This is a respite. It's a moment of opportunity, not an end; it's not a solution. It's the opportunity to find the solution," Kerry, who fell short of winning a truce in Cairo last week, said.

"We have to understand that all the people involved in this have strong demands and strong visions about what the future should look like. Israel has to be able to live in peace and security, without terror attacks, without rockets, without tunnels, without sirens going off in the day.

"And Palestinians need to be able to live with the opportunity to educate their children and move freely and share in the rest of the world, and to lead a life that is different from the one they have long suffered. So we hope that this moment of opportunity will be grabbed by the parties, but no one can force them to do that," he said.

Kerry was addressing reporters in New Delhi where he is meeting Indian leaders to foster bilateral ties. He said, "US President Barack Obama hopes that all the parties will work diligently to do so."

The 72-hour ceasefire is a lull of opportunity, a moment for the sides and the different factions to be able to come together with the state of Israel in an effort to try to address ways to find a sustainable ceasefire and over a longer period of time, address the underlying issues, he said.


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