TEL AVIV, July 26 (RIA Novosti) - The 12-hour long humanitarian ceasefire has begun in the Gaza Strip, where both parties of the conflict - the Israeli army and Palestinian militants - promised to abide it.
It is the longest pause in 19 days of the confrontation that killed more than 860 Palestinians and 40 Israelis.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that the fire was stopped from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Israeli summer time (05:00-17:00 GMT), and warned that they would respond to any attempt by the militants to disrupt the agreement. Israeli servicemen warned that they would not leave unanswered any raids and would not stop destructing dozens of underground tunnels dug by Hamas militants to sneak into Israel.
Late July 17, following days of shelling and aerial bombardment the Israeli military moved to a ground offensive largely aimed at demolishing the tunnels.
At the same time, a meeting of Foreign Ministers of numerous intermediaries is expected to be held in France. The ministers will try to offer the belligerents a new truce plan for a longer term. On Friday, the Israeli military and political office rejected a 7-day long ceasefire plan, according to the local media.