A Palestinian man carries his belongings from his destroyed
house in Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily
hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during Israeli
offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo by Reuters
Israel's security cabinet approved extending the
humanitarian ceasefire that started early on Saturday until
midnight (local time) on Sunday, an Israeli government official
"At the request of the United Nations, the cabinet has
approved a humanitarian hiatus until tomorrow (Sunday) at
24:00. The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) will act against any
breach of the ceasefire," the official, who was not named,
said in a statement.
Late on Saturday, militants ignored an Israeli announcement
that it would extend the truce by four hours and resumed
firing rockets into Israel from Gaza around two hours after
the end of the initial 12-hour ceasefire period. It began at
8am on Saturday.
After the ceasefire began early on Saturday, Gazans took
advantage of the lull in fighting to retrieve their dead and
stock up on food, flooding into the streets to discover
scenes of massive destruction in some areas.
At least 1033 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been
killed in the fighting since July 8 when Israel launched its
offensive, aimed at ending rocket fire by Islamist militants
out of Gaza.
Israel said five more of its soldiers were killed in
pre-truce fighting in Gaza and two others died of their
wounds in hospital, bringing the army death toll to 42 as
troops battled militants in the tiny Mediterranean enclave
that is home to 1.8 million Palestinians.
Three civilians, including two Israeli citizens and a Thai
labourer, have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza.
Israel's and Hamas's positions remained far apart regarding a
long-lasting halt to hostilities.
Hamas said it would only endorse the ceasefire if Israel
removes its troops from the areas into which it has entered
in the Gaza Strip.
"Any humanitarian calm that does not include the withdrawal
of occupation soldiers from the Gaza Strip and enable the
people to return to their houses and to evacuate the wounded
is not acceptable," said Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman.