GAZA, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The Islamic Hamas movement and Palestinian militant groups agreed late on Wednesday to a UN appeal of a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire with Israel on Thursday, a Hamas official told Xinhua.
Hamas and other Palestinian factions agreed to halt rocket firing into Israel for five hours on Thursday in response to a proposal by the United Nations, the official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the movement "will respond to any Israeli attacks on Gaza during the pause."
Earlier on Wednesday night, 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.
It's the first pause of fighting since Israel and Hamas fighters have engaged in fierce cross-border attacks since last Tuesday when Israel started an all-out operation to halt Gaza rocket fire. The operation has claimed 223 Palestinian lives so far.
Before the agreement on the five-hour ceasefire, Hamas officially rejected an Egyptian initiative of ceasefire between Gaza militants and Israel earlier on Wednesday. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said 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.
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. Full story
GENEVA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) expressed grave concerns here on Tuesday over the immense human losses and destructions resulting from ongoing military offensive in Gaza strip.
Sami Mshasha, UNRWA spokesman, told a press conference by telephone that the eight-day-old assault in Gaza has completely destroyed at least 560 homes, and meanwhile claimed over 174 lives and caused more than 1000 injured, adding that the number would increase by hour. Full story