Israel, Hamas announce 12-hour ceasefire
Hamas and other groups in Gaza had reached on a consensus on a “humanitarian truce”, says Hamas. Israel later confirmed that it would observe what it called “a humanitarian window in the Gaza Strip”.
Hamas-run interior ministry in Gaza warned people not to approach bombed-out buildings and militant bases for fear of “explosive objects”.
Earlier, US Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking from Cairo, said that efforts to broker a longer halt to the fighting had so far yet to bear fruit.
He arrived in Paris on Saturday where France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was to host a meeting later in the day of counterparts from the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Turkey and the EU.
Violence, however, continued in the early hours of Saturday, the conflict’s 19th day, with Israeli air strikes and shelling killing 19 people, among them four children and a paramedic, Gaza medical services said.
United States working with Egypt on a plan that, diplomats say, would provide a pause in the deadly Israel-Hamas conflict ahead of talks on key issues.