WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday welcomed a new long-term cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, pledging support for reconstruction efforts there.
"We strongly support today's cease-fire agreement, and call on all parties to fully and completely comply with its terms," the top American envoy said in a statement. "We hope very much that this cease-fire will prove to be durable and sustainable, that it will put an end to rocket and mortar attacks, and that it will help to bring about an enduring end to the conflict in Gaza."
The open-ended truce came into effect Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. local time (0400 GMT), after Egypt brokered an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian factions, including Hamas that controls Gaza.
Israel started a large-scale air and sea and military operation on July 8 and later expanded into ground offensives against Gaza in response to rockets fired into its land from there. The Gaza health ministry said Israel has killed 2,140 Palestinians and wounded 11,100 others in its offensive.
Meanwhile, Israel said Gaza militants killed 69 Israelis, including 64 soldiers and five civilians.
"As soon as calm is restored, the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza must be accelerated, and the United States and the international community are fully committed to supporting this effort," Kerry said.
"We are also prepared to work with our international partners on a major reconstruction initiative," he said, adding measures will be taken to ensure Hamas and other terrorist groups not benefiting from the effort.