GAZA, July 26 (Xinhua) -- A 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire came into effect in the Gaza Strip on Saturday as a 19-day Israeli large-scale offensive claimed the lives of more than 900 Palestinians and 37 Israelis.
Overnight both Islamic Hamas movement and Israel accepted a United Nations proposal to go for a 12-hour humanitarian truce to enable rescue teams and paramedics to evacuate bodies and wounded.
Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman said in an emailed press statement that his movement and the other Palestinian factions agreed to accept the humanitarian pause.
The interior ministry in Gaza called on the populations to be away from suspected bodies and not to reach areas closed to the Israeli army ground forces and avoid confrontations.
Before the 12-hour lull came into effect at 8:00 a.m., 27 Palestinians were killed all over the Gaza Strip after midnight and at predawn, said Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the health ministry in Gaza.
He told reporters that the worst was when 20 family members, most of them women and children, were killed all together in one strike on their house at predawn in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis.
Witnesses said that gunfire and bombings continued until the last moment before the cease-fire came into effect, adding that after the cease-fire became valid, thousands of people began to go to their houses to check them.
Rescue teams with ambulances and paramedics began their hard work to look for survivals, to pick up corps and see if there were still wounded people under the rubble in both Sheja'eya in eastern Gaza city and in Khan Younis.
GAZA/JERUSALEM, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Though Israel's air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip has claimed the lives of almost 800 Palestinian civilians by Thursday night, the international efforts to broker a ceasefire still have hardly showed any signs of substantial progress.
Medics said that a latest round of Israeli airstrike on Thursday hit three houses in Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, killing 10 Palestinians, including an infant, and injuring 15 others, raising the total death toll caused by Israel's strike to 797.Full Story
JERUSALEM, July 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel late Wednesday after a day-long visit in the country in which he tried to broker a ceasefire agreement to end the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas.
There have been no official reports regarding a possible breakthrough in the ceasefire efforts as Kerry left Wednesday night and no comments were made by Israeli officials regarding the status of the talks. Full story
GENEVA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- A special session of United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted a resolution on Wednesday and decided to launch an inquiry into human rights violations from Israel latest military offensive in the Gaza strip.
The one-day special session, requested by 22 members of the council and 16 Observer States, backed a Palestinian-drafted resolution by 29 votes in favor, 17 abstentions, and one against. The United States was the sole member that cast the no ballot. Full Story