Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Picture: Israel agrees Gaza aid truce after children killed on beach

GAZA CITY (AFP) – Israel agreed to a UN request to halt its bombardment of Gaza for five hours on humanitarian grounds, after its naval strikes killed four children on a beach Wednesday.

The punishing strikes aimed at halting cross-border rocket fire by Hamas militants had resumed after Egyptian-brokered truce efforts collapsed Tuesday.

Israel’s campaign, now in its ninth day, has killed 220 Palestinians so far, with a Gaza-based human rights group saying over 80 percent of them were civilians.

In the same period, militants have fired more than 1,200 rockets at Israel. They claimed their first Israeli life on Tuesday.

Hamas rejected the Egyptian truce efforts, saying it had not been included in the discussions.

The Israeli army announced it would halt its attacks of Gaza between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm (0700 to 1200 GMT) Thursday, as UN requested for a humanitarian truce.

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