الثلاثاء , يونيو 9 2020

Truce as deaths in Gaza pass 900



Gaza residents gather belongings

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Chris Morris reports from Shejaiya, where people are using the truce to dash back to their homes to gather what they can

Residents in Gaza are using a 12-hour humanitarian truce to return to their homes, gather essential supplies and search for those trapped in the rubble.

Gaza’s health ministry says 60 bodies have been recovered, with 35 already brought to the Shifa Hospital morgue.

Some 940 Palestinians have died since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on 8 July, with 5,870 injured, officials say. Thirty-eight Israelis have died.

International talks on a longer truce are resuming in Paris.

Correspondents reported a tense situation in areas hardest-hit by air strikes and tank shelling, but some semblance of normal life returning.

Israel said it would continue to “locate and neutralise” Hamas tunnels during the pause, which began at 08:00 local time (05:00 GMT).

Israeli strikes killed at least 19 Palestinians overnight at a family home near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Two Israeli soldiers were also killed, Israel’s military confirmed. The Iron Dome defence system intercepted three rockets fired towards the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon overnight.

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‘Astonishing scene’: Ian Pannell, BBC News, Gaza City

View over part of Shejaiya (26 July 2014)A BBC team has been into the Shejaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City, hit hard by Israel last Sunday

In the district of Shejaiya, residents started flooding back from 08:00 despite warnings not to do so.

The scene here is just astonishing – the most widespread destruction: buildings completely pulverised, cars thrown 50m (160ft) into the air on top of buildings, the facades of some block of flats completely ripped off.

The air is pretty thick with the stench of death as people try to recover bodies and belongings.

In the background I can hear a crackle of gunfire and although a humanitarian ceasefire is in place, clearly people are still shooting. There is an Israeli drone flying overhead, and we’ve heard the sound of fighter jets.

I think people feel they have a brief window of opportunity to do as much as they can and then frankly get out of here.

Follow Ian Pannell’s tweets from Gaza



Baby delivered from mother's dead body

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In the hours before the truce was declared, a baby was delivered alive after her mother was killed

‘Confident of ceasefire’

US Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting the foreign ministers of Turkey, Qatar and some European countries in Paris in the hopes of agreeing a longer ceasefire.

Mr Kerry spent a week in the Middle East attempting to broker a deal before leaving Egypt on Friday.

“The goal is to bring together international efforts so that as quickly as possible conditions for a cease-fire in Gaza emerge,” said a French foreign ministry spokesman.

Hamas insists that any ceasefire should include a lifting of the blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel and Egypt since 2007.

John Kerry on the phone to Israeli PM Netanyahu, Cairo, 25 July 2014US Secretary of State John Kerry has been leading efforts to secure a ceasefire

Israel is reported to want to continue operations against Hamas infiltration tunnels once direct conflict ends.

In the meantime, the 12-hour truce was agreed overnight, although the Israel Defense Force (IDF) vowed to respond if attacked. “We will respond if terrorists choose to exploit this time to attack IDF personnel or fire at Israeli civilians,” it said in a statement.

The announcement of the humanitarian truce came shortly after Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon warned that ground operations in Gaza could soon be broadened “significantly”.



Bethlehem clashes

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Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli security forces in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, as Orla Guerin reports

Mr Yaalon told soldiers: “You need to be ready for the possibility that very soon we will instruct the military to significantly broaden the ground operation in Gaza”.

The British ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, said he was disappointed at the failure to reach a longer-term truce.

But he welcomed Saturday’s 12-hour pause, saying it could “open up a little bit of space to work on a more sustainable ceasefire”.

Iron Dome missile interception, 25 July 2014Israel’s Iron Dome system intercepted several rockets fired from Gaza on Friday

West Bank clashes

There were also clashes during protests in the West Bank on Friday which left at least five Palestinians dead.

Palestinians in the West Bank had declared a “Day of Rage” against Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile Israel’s military said its Iron Dome defence system had intercepted several rockets fired across the border by Hamas.

Israel launched its military offensive on 8 July with the declared objective of stopping Hamas firing rockets into Israel.

It has since extended its operation to destroy tunnels dug by militants to infiltrate Israel.

Are you in the West Bank, Gaza or Israel? Are you affected by the violence? You can email your experiences to [email protected], using the subject line ‘Israel Gaza’.

Or send us your experiences using the form below.

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