Palestinians hug each other after seeing their homes destroyed, during a 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Gaza residents used a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire on Saturday to stock up on supplies and survey the devastation from nearly three weeks of fighting, as they braced for a resumption of Israel's war on Hamas amid stalled efforts to secure a longer truce. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israel agrees to a 72-hour cease-fire
01:01 - Source: CNN

Editor’s Note: Read a version of this story in Arabic.

Story highlights

NEW: Official: 1,452 killed in Gaza, which is more than a group says died in 2008, 2009

Israel and Hamas accept the 72-hour cease-fire, officials tell CNN

Palestinian official "hoping against hope" it will lead to a "permanent cease-fire"

U.N. rights chief says Israeli shellings that killed civilians don't appear "to be accidental"

Gaza City CNN  — 

After weeks of fighting and hundreds of deaths, some semblance of peace may be coming to the Middle East – at least temporarily.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Thursday that an unconditional humanitarian cease-fire will begin at 8 a.m. Friday in Gaza (1 a.m. ET). It will last 72 hours – or three days – “unless extended,” the United Nations and United States said in a joint statement.

“During this time, the forces on the ground will remain in place,” the statement said.

Israel has accepted the cease-fire, officials in its prime minister’s office texted CNN. So, too, has Hamas, a spokesman for the militant fundamentalist Islamic organization texted.