Palestinians accuse Israel of breaking 7-hour Gaza truce

The announcement met with suspicion from Hamas and followed unusually strong censure from Washington at the apparent Israeli shelling on Sunday of a U.N.-run shelter that killed 10 people.

Palestinians accuse Israel of breaking 7-hour Gaza truce

World Bulletin/News Desk

A seven-hour truce under which Israel would unilaterally hold fire in most of the Gaza Strip went into force on Monday and Palestinians immediately accused Israel of breaking the ceasefire by bombing a house in Gaza City.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said 15 people were wounded in the strike on a house in Shati camp, mostly women and children.

Hamas said attacking the house after the Israeli ceasefire began was evidence that the truce was for media consumption only. "We urge our people to continue to be cautious," said the group's spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri.

The Israeli chief military spokesman said forces were deployed along both sides of the Gaza border.

"Redeployment lets us work on the tunnels, provides defence (of Israeli communities nearby) and lets the forces set up for further activity. There is no ending here, perhaps an interim phase," Brigadier-General Motti Almoz told Army Radio.

The Israeli government said late Sunday that it would hold a seven-hour humanitarian ceasefire in most of the Gaza Strip on Monday, a unilateral move that was rejected by Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. 

Coordinator of the Israeli government’s activities in the Palestinian territories Yoav Mordechai said in a statement that the ceasefire will be effective on Monday between 10am local time (07:00 GMT) and 5pm (14:00 GMT).

The Israeli Defense Ministry, however, said the ceasefire would not apply to eastern Rafah in the south. "If the truce will be violated, the army will respond with fire toward the source of the fire,” it said in a statement.

Hamas, whose envoys are in Egypt for truce negotiations, saw a possible ruse in the humanitarian truce announcement.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the move was “unilateral and aims to divert attention away from [Israeli] massacres” in Gaza. “We don’t trust it,” he added in a statement.

He also called on Gazans to exercise the “utmost caution and vigilance and not to trust the Israeli occupation [forces].”

Israel has been pounding the blockaded Gaza Strip – home to 1.8 million people – since July 7, leaving at least 1821 Palestinians dead and around 9420 others injured. Most of the victims were civilians.

Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rockets at Israeli cities in response to the ongoing Israeli attacks.

At least 64 Israeli soldiers have also been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters and three civilians in rocket attacks.

In a predawn air strike Israel killed a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian group fighting alongside Hamas. Islamic Jihad identified him as Danyal Mansour, head of the group's northern command, and said he was killed in a bombing of a house in Jablaya. Almoz confirmed Israeli forces struck him.

"DISGRACEFUL SHELLING"

Many of those evacuees have taken shelter in U.N.-run facilities, including a Rafah school where 10 people were killed on Sunday in what Gaza officials said was an Israeli air strike.

International outcry crested against the Israelis. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the attack as a "moral outrage and a criminal act" and called for those responsible for the "gross violation of international humanitarian law" to be held accountable.

The United States said it was "appalled" by the "disgraceful shelling" and urged its Middle East ally to do more to prevent harm to civilians. Washington also called for an investigation into other, similar attacks on U.N. schools in Gaza.

In Cairo on Sunday, Palestinian delegates said they also wanted Israel to quit Gaza, facilitate reconstruction of the battered territory and release Palestinian prisoners.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Ağustos 2014, 12:13

Muhammed Öylek

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