Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu ZuhriReuters

Hamas has accepted an Egyptian proposal for a 72-hour ceasefire with Israel set to begin Tuesday, a spokesman for the group told AFP on Monday night.

"Hamas informed Cairo a few minutes ago of their approval of the truce for 72 hours from tomorrow," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

The Islamic Jihad, which along with Israel and Hamas is to attend truce talks in Cairo, confirmed the imminent end to fighting.

"The ceasefire is arriving in the coming hours," the group’s deputy leader, Ziad al-Nakhale, said in a statement quoted by AFP.

Earlier, Israel confirmed as well that it has agreed to Egypt’s proposal for the 72-hour ceasefire to begin Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. local time.

The confirmation came after the ministers in the Security-Diplomacy Cabinet held a telephone discussion on the issue.

An Israeli official later told AFP that Israel “will be honoring the ceasefire from tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT)."

The official confirmed an Israeli delegation would be heading to Cairo for talks.

According to the official, the Egyptian proposal had already been accepted by Israel three weeks ago.

"It was Hamas that rejected it, it is Hamas that is responsible for the violence we've seen over the past three weeks," he told AFP.

The official noted that both sides had agreed to a three-day truce on Friday, but asserted that "Hamas made commitments and didn't keep them," referring to a Hamas attack in which three soldiers were killed and which took place soon after the truce began.

"We'll be there watching very closely tomorrow morning (Tuesday) if Hamas doesn't honor the ceasefire," he stressed.

On Monday, Israel announced a seven-hour humanitarian ceasefire, of which Hamas took advantage, firing rockets at southern Israel just two hours after the ceasefire began.