Israel-Gaza ceasefire deal denied

Some 227 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes since the current crisis began on July 8

Israel’s foreign minister and Hamas have denied earlier reports of a truce deal to end fighting in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militants.

The Israeli minister,Avigdor Lieberman, said the reports were “as of now incorrect”, while Hamas, which controls Gaza, said talks in Egypt were ongoing.

An Israeli official earlier told the BBC the truce was to take effect on Friday at 06:00 local time (03:00 GMT).

Earlier in the day, both Hamas and Israel agreed to halt fighting for five hours to allow the Gazans to stock up on supplies.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has claimed that Palestinian have fired three mortars from Gaza at Israel, ending the five-hour humanitarian ceasefire on Thursday.

However, they did not state any action nor did Hamas issue statement in this regard.

After the Palestinians reportedly fired mortars during the five-hour truce, Hamas TV accused Israel of firing mortar shells near eastern Rafah in south Gaza.

“While the IDF holds its fire, three mortars fired from Gaza just hit the Eshkol regional council,” the Israeli military said on Thursday, two hours after the ceasefire came into effect at 10:00 local time (07:00 GMT).

Thursday’s brief ceasefire, due to last until 15:00 local time, was requested by the UN and other international organisations.

The UN’s relief operation in Gaza said it would use the temporary truce to step up emergency work in the Palestinian territory. Spokesman Chris Gunness said providing water, food and hygiene kits was the main priority.

Correspondents said Gazans were queuing outside banks, and traffic was building up as residents rushed to stock up on supplies.

Some 227 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes since the current crisis began on July 8. Militant rockets have killed one Israeli.

Israel launched its military operation in Gaza nine days ago with the stated objective of halting Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.

The United Nations says 80% of those killed in Gaza have been civilians.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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