WASHINGTON - The United States and the United Nations on Wednesday welcomed the Gaza ceasefire deal between Israel, with the hope that  it would lead to end of violence in the region. "We hope this means no more rockets will be fired by Hamas at innocent Israelis as well as lead to a better atmosphere for talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Gordon Johndroe said in a statement. "We appreciate Egypt's efforts and hope they are ultimately successful, but for that to happen, Hamas has to choose to become a legitimate political party and give up terrorism. They can't continue to do both," he said. At U.N. Headquarter in New York, a spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon said,  "The Secretary-General hopes that these efforts will both provide security and an easing of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and end rocket and mortar attacks against Israeli targets. "He also hopes that this cessation of violence will lead to a controlled and sustained opening of the Gaza crossings for humanitarian and commercial purposes. The Secretary-General looks forward to all sides acting with care and responsibility in ensuring that this cessation of violence endures." Ban also congratulated Egypt on its "persistent efforts to achieve calm through this agreement." CONTRADICTION Diplomatic observers here were struck by the the contradictory stance of the United States with regards to talks with groups it dubs as terrorists. While the Bush administration has welcomed Israeli's dialogue with Hamas, an organization which is on the U.S. list of terrorists, it opposes tooth and nail efforts on part of Pakistan to strike deals with militants aimed at restoring normalcy in the tribal areas. "But, of course, U.S. is helpless when Israel decides to do anything... even it is against U.S. interest," a senior diplomat said.