Israel agrees to four-hour lull in fighting in Gaza

As Israel continues to hit Hamas weapon sites which are generally hidden among civilian places, with the latest target being a UNWRA school in Gaza, its Foreign Ministry tweeted that Hamas continues the practice of storing weapons in UN school.

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

  • Israel agreed Wednesday to observe a four-hour lull in Gaza several hours after a deadly strike on a school killed 16, drawing a furious response from a UN refugee agency, the AFP reported.

    Also Read: Israel okays new Gaza lull as UN rages over school strike

  • Regarding Israeli shelling on a UN school in Gaza, the military says that the terrorists were first to fire from the vicinity of the school, to which the IDF responded with firing, reports the Jerusalem Post.

    "Earlier this morning, militants fired mortar shells at (Israeli) soldiers from the vicinity of the UNRWA school in Jabaliya (refugee camp). In response, soldiers fired towards the origins of fire, and we`re still reviewing the incident," a military spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

  • With fresh Israeli shelling on Wednesday claiming more lives, the death toll in Gaza has shot up to 1280, said reports.
  • Israeli military says it has destroyed three terror tunnels used by Hamas in last 24 hours. Israel started its ground offensive in Gaza to demolish these tunnels, which it says, is used by the terrorists to infiltrate into Israel and plan attacks.
  • Hamas said that it would mean a lot if Hezbollah too joined the fight against Israel, Moussa Abu Mazrouk, who serves as Khaled Mashaal’s top deputy told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
  • Hamas wants the Lebanese Shiìte group Hezbollah to join it in fighting against Israel, which has entered Day 23 now, reported Ria Novosti.
  • As Israel continues to hit Hamas weapon sites which are generally hidden among civilian places, with the latest target being a UNWRA school in Gaza, its Foreign Ministry tweeted that Hamas continues the practice of storing weapons in UN school.
  • Israel says its aircraft targeted 5 mosques in Gaza overnight that the terrorists used to hide weapons.
  • The school that was hit by Israeli forces earli this morning was a UN-run Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) girls` school in Jabalia refugee camp. Some 20 people were killed in Israeli shelling, reports say.

    Also Read: Israeli shelling kills 19 taking refuge in Gaza school: UN

  • Israeli Army says its forces in Gaza stumbled upon what it called a "terrorist training manual", that contained instructions on how to handle explosives at home. Israel has been repeating that Hamas uses homes, hospitals, mosques, etc as military command centres.
  • After an intense day of violence killed more than 100 in Gaza since midnight, the Hamas` military wing chief Mohammad Deif sounded furiously defiant in a audio message and said that his soldiers were "eager for death", reported the BBC.
  • As the violence refuses to die, Palestinian factions are set to meet in Cairo to discuss a possible truce on the lines of an earlier ceasefire proposal drafted by Egypt.
  • According to an AFP report, two girl children and a middle aged man were among those killed in early morning attack by Israeli forces. Of the two girls, one was a handicapped girl aged 11, the report cited 11-year-old handicapped girl, Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al Qudra.

    With no ceasefire in sight, the cross-border fire continued for the twenty-third day as an Israeli shelling on Hamas targets hit a school in Gaza Strip killing at least 20 on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, according to the Gazan Health Ministry, the Palestinian death toll has crossed 1200 in 22 days of conflict after Israel launched a military offensive aiming to stop Hamas from firing rockets and plotting attacks through tunnels.

    Israel, too has lost 53 of its soldiers since conflict with Hamas began on 8 July. Also, two civilians and a Thai national have died.

    As ceasefire efforts by diplomats in Egypt and the UN failed to show results, Israeli assault continued unabated even till today morning when Israeli forces shelled the Abu Hussein School in northern Gaza, killing at least 20, reported the CNN.

    In what might appear to a justification of its shelling on civilian areas, Israeli military has been maintaining from the beginning that Hamas was using civilians as human shields and keeping weapons and rockets in public places like hospitals, schools, mosques, etc.

    Further dousing the hopes of a truce, a top Hamas commander named Mohammed Deif, said that a ceasefire was impossible without Israel ending the siege, reports said.

    Tuesday was a destructive day for Gaza, as Israeli shelling set ablaze the only power plant supplying electricity to Gaza, along with attacking al-Aqsa radio and TV stations.

    Ceasefire hopes continued fading after PM Netanyahu warned of a “prolonged” military offensive in Gaza, saying, "We will continue to act aggressively and responsibly until the mission is completed to protect our citizens, soldiers and children”.

    Israel launched a ground offensive in Gaza ten days after it started Operation Protective Edge, aiming to destroy a network of underground tunnels, which Israel says, are used by the Hamas to infiltrate and plan attacks on Israelis. 

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