An Israeli self-propelled howitzer fires a shell toward Gaza Strip at a position in southern Israel near the border with Gaza, on the ninth day of Operation Protective Edge, on July 16, 2014. Israel agreed on Wednesday to cease its strikes on the Gaza Strip for five hours on Thursday to allow humanitarian aid to the enclave, the Israeli military said. (Xinhua/Li Rui)
JERUSALEM, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Israel agreed on Wednesday to cease its strikes on the Gaza Strip for five hours on Thursday to allow humanitarian aid to the enclave, the Israeli military said.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it will enable a humanitarian window in Gaza between 10:00 to 15:00 local time (0700 to 1200 GMT) on Thursday, as a result of a dialogue with the United Nations. But it also added that if Hamas fires rockets at Israel during the humanitarian window, the IDF will respond with force.
Until now, the Islamic Hamas movement has not responded to the proposal yet.
The decision follows an Israeli air raid on Gaza earlier in the day, in which four children from one family were killed. The IDF spokesperson unit said it has started an investigation into the incident.
After Hamas turned down Egypt's cease-fire proposal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that "Israel would expand and increase" its campaign against Hamas and other militant organizations in the Gaza Strip until the rocket fire from Gaza comes to an end.
Since Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" on Gaza started last Tuesday, a total of 220 Palestinians have been killed and 1,570 others injured, according to Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. The IDF said more than 1,100 targets in Gaza have been hit.
Meanwhile, more than 1,215 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza at Israel's southern, central and even northern areas. One Israeli was killed on Tuesday during a mortar attack near the border crossing with Gaza, the first Israeli civilian victim since the operation began over a week ago.