JERUSALEM, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Israel has approved a two-hour humanitarian truce, starting at 13:30 local time (1030 GMT), the Israeli army said in a notice on Sunday.
The call for ceasefire was made via the International Red Cross Committee, in order to allow medical teams in Gaza to evacuate the dead and wounded to hospitals.
The move came after Israel's heaviest shelling since its offensive on Gaza began 13 days ago left at least 40 casualties in the district of Shejaiya in northeast Gaza, according to Palestinian medical teams. Thousands of residents fled their homes, witnesses told local media.
Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Palestinian Territories, Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai, said in a statement that the army will cease its fire until 15:30 local time (1230 GMT). "Any fire during this time will be retaliated," he added.