[QODLink]
Middle East

Hamas agrees to 24-hour truce in Gaza

Announcement from Palestinian group comes hours after Israel resumes shelling of Gaza, killing at least five people.

Last updated: 27 Jul 2014 14:27
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Hamas and other Palestinian factions have agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip, starting at 2pm local time (11:00 GMT) despite Israel accusing Hamas of violating an earlier ceasefire.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said on Sunday the group took the decision after studying a UN proposal for a ceasefire and taking into consideration the situation of the people of Gaza and the Muslim Eid al-Fitr celebrations expected to start on Monday.  

As 2pm came and went, the sound of heavy Israeli shelling could be heard within Gaza and sirens sounded in Israeli communities near the border area, Reuters news agency reported, suggesting Palestinian fighters had fired missiles at them.

There was no immediate word from Israel, which called off its own 24-hour truce earlier in the day after Hamas fired a volley of rockets into southern and central Israel.

The Israeli military attributed its decision to resume aerial, naval and ground activity to "Hamas's incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the civilian population in Gaza".

Smoke was seen billowing over several locations in Gaza, which is governed by Hamas, shortly after the Israeli announcement.

The Gaza Health Ministry said two Palestinians were killed at the Nusairat refugee camp in central Gaza and three others in Khan Younis in the south. The death toll now stands at more than 1,000.

Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston, reporting from Gaza City, said there was tank shelling in the east of territory, and naval ships struck the beaches in the west. There were also several air strikes.

Ammar Hijazi, an official in the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaks to Al Jazeera from Ramallah

An air strike in central Gaza City hit al-Shoroq building, which houses foreign and local media, including Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV. The media offices were evacuated earlier this week.

Palestinian fighters said they had fired at least 20 rockets towards Israel overnight and into the morning. Air-raid sirens sounded throughout southern and central Israel during morning rush hour.

Documentary: Shujayea, massacre at dawn

At least five rockets landed in Israel and two others were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system, the Israeli military said.

At least 1,054 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and more than 6,000 injured since Israel launched its offensive on the Mediterranean enclave, home to 1.8 million Palestinians, on July 8.

Israel said five of its soldiers were killed in pre-truce fighting in Gaza and two others died of their wounds in hospital.

Another soldier was killed by shell fire overnight, bringing the army death toll to 43.

Three civilians, including two Israeli citizens and a Thai labourer, have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza.

510

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.