US Secretary of State John Kerry urges Hamas to accept ceasefire with Israel

US Secretary of State John Kerry attends a meeting with German Foreign minister at the Coburg Palais in Vienna, on July 13, 2014, during talks of foreign ministers from the six powers negotiating with Tehran on its nuclear program. Mr Kerry has
US Secretary of State John Kerry attends a meeting with German Foreign minister at the Coburg Palais in Vienna, on July 13, 2014, during talks of foreign ministers from the six powers negotiating with Tehran on its nuclear program. Mr Kerry has urged Hamas to accept Egypt's ceasefire proposal to halt fighting with Israel in the Gaza Strip. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Hamas to accept Egypt's ceasefire proposal to halt fighting with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

In a brief statement released by the State Department on Tuesday, Mr Kerry welcomed Israel's decision to accept the proposal.

"The Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and negotiations provides an opportunity to end the violence and restore calm," he said. "We welcome the Israeli Cabinet's decision to accept it. We urge all other parties to accept the proposal," he added.

Hamas has thus far refused to accept the Egyptian proposal to end a week of the deadliest violence in Gaza Strip for years, which killed more than 190 Palestinians.