Hamas, Israel agree to temporary ‘humanitarian ceasefire’
By IBRAHIM BARZAK and PETER ENAV Associated Press July 16, 2014 3:08PM
Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Palestinians flee their home in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Alongside the air strikes, Israel also ordered tens of thousands of residents of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and the Zeitoun and Shijaiyah neighborhoods of Gaza City, all near the border with Israel, to evacuate their homes by 8 a.m. Wednesday. The warnings were delivered in automated phone calls, text messages and leaflets.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Updated: July 17, 2014 1:46AM
UPDATE: “Factions of the resistance have agreed to accept the offer of the UN regarding a ‘field calm’ for 5 hours from 10 AM until 3 PM (local time) Thursday for humanitarian needs,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zhuri said in a text message, CNN reports.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Israeli military says it has agreed to a U.N.-brokered five-hour pause in its strikes on the Gaza Strip to allow Palestinians to restock supplies.
The military said in a statement Wednesday that it would hold its fire for five hours starting at 10:00 a.m. (0900 GMT, 5 a.m. EDT.)
It warns however that it will retaliate “firmly and decisively” if Hamas or other militant groups launch attacks on Israel during that time.
U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Robert Serry, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, made the appeal after talks with Israel’s Coordination Office for Government Affairs in the (Palestinian) Territories.
If Israel agrees to a “humanitarian pause,” Haq said, Serry “would then urge the parties in Gaza to respect that pause.”