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Israel embarks on "unlimited ceasefire" policy in Gaza

English.news.cn   2014-07-28 19:53:38

JERUSALEM, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Israel has embarked on " unlimited ceasefire" policy on Monday morning, after 21 days of raging conflict and mounting international pressure to halt hostilities, an Israeli official told Xinhua.

According to the official, the new policy means the Israeli military will halt the deliberate attacks in Gaza and will open fire only in retaliation to Gaza militant fire.

"We are now on 'unlimited ceasefire,' as decided by the political echelon," the source said. The Prime Minister's Office was not immediately available to comment.

However, according to local media reports the military seems to hold fire from ground and air, but will continue to destroy Hamas' cross-border tunnels.

The rocket fire from Gaza has also declined sharply Monday, with a single incident in which a rocket was fired this morning at the city of Ashkelon on Israel's southern coast and hit an open field.

A spokesperson with the Israeli military said that following the incident, "the Israel Defense Forces retaliated towards Beit Lahyia area, from which the rocket was fired."

The ongoing fighting between Hamas movement and the Israeli army in Gaza which started on July 8 has claimed lives of more than 1,030 Palestinians, at least 720 of them were civilians, according to the UN and Palestinian health officials. On the Israeli side, 46 people were killed, 43 of them were soldiers, according to the Israeli military and police.

The new lull policy comes a day after U.S. President Barack Obama spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding "an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement" brokered by Egypt.

On Monday morning, the UN Security Council joined Obama's call and urged "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance" in Gaza.

The pressure for a ceasefire came after Israel and Hamas launched on Sunday fresh attacks at each other despite back-and- forth over proposals for another temporary truce. Following intense U.S. and UN mediation efforts, both sides agreed on a 12- hour ceasefire on Saturday, but that lull could not be sustained.

Related:

Israel denies responsibility for deaths in Gaza school attack

JERUSALEM, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli army on Sunday denied to be responsible for the deaths of 16 Palestinians during Thursday's attack on a UN school in northern Gaza.

"The inquiry as well as documented footage conclude that a single errant mortar landed in the courtyard of the (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) UNRWA school in Beit Hanun when it was completely empty," an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson said.  Full story

Truce cut short as Israel resumes attack on Gaza

JERUSALEM, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli military said it is resuming the offensive on the Gaza Strip, cutting short a temporary ceasefire after Hamas militants rejected the truce and continued to fire rockets at Israel.

"Following Hamas' incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip," a military notice said.  Full story

 

Editor: Yamei Wang
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