Fragile Cease Fire Shattered in Gaza

Two children stand in front of a house that police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Maghazi refugee camp in Center Gaza Strip. UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan
Two children stand in front of a house that police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Maghazi refugee camp in Center Gaza Strip. UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Cease Fire Evaporates in Gaza

TEL AVIV – INTERNATIONAL NEWS – After days of escalating violence and follow-on civilian suffering in the Gaza Strip, the United Nations special envoy for the Middle East confirmed today that Israel has agreed to a five hour humanitarian pause – set to begin tomorrow morning – and repeated his call on Hamas to respect the lull “in the interest of the people of Gaza.”

In a statement issued by his spokesperson in Jerusalem, Robert Serry UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process confirmed that the Government of Israel agreed the five hour humanitarian pause, which will start at tomorrow at 10:00AM local time and end at 3:00PM local time in Israel.

“Mr. Serry appreciates this Israeli decision and repeats his call on Hamas and other factions to respect the humanitarian pause from their side, in the interest of the people of Gaza,” said the statement.

Two Boys Die in Shelling

Video from a Gaza media agency appears to show the moment a shell killed four boys playing on a beach.

Palestinian health workers said the shell was fired from an Israeli gunboat off Gaza’s Mediterranean coast. The boys, aged between 9 and 11, were all said to be from one family. Another youngster was wounded.

The Israeli military’s said in a statement it will investigate the circumstances of the incident on Wednesday. The beach area’s been frequently shelled since Israel began its offensive on July 8th in response to cross-border rocket attacks.

On the same day four members of the same family were among six Palestinians killed in the Khan Younis area of Gaza. Israel says it warned residents in several areas of the Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes ahead of military operations.

As the conflict continued on Thursday the toll of Palestinians killed stood at 216, most of them civilians, according to Gaza health officials.