TEL AVIV, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – Israel and Hamas are to start observing a 12-hour long humanitarian ceasefire at 8 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) on Saturday, the Israeli Army spokesman has said.
The ceasefire is to become the longest during 20 days of Israel’s special operation against Palestinian militants. In France, mediators led by US Secretary of State John Kerry are expected to discuss conditions for a longer-lasting deal.
“Today, on Saturday, July 26, 2014, a humanitarian window is to be open in the Gaza Strip between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Israeli summer time,” the army spokesman said.
Representatives of the Hamas movement that controls the enclave earlier announced plans to honor the ceasefire.
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.
According to the recent reports, over 800 Palestinians have already died and more than 5,000 injured as the conflict reached its 18th day. The Israeli side has lost about 40 people.