MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – The Hamas movement has refused to extend a humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip for additional four hours, AP reported on Saturday quoting a Hamas official.
“No agreement to extending the ceasefire for an additional four hours,” Sami Abu Zuhri said in a message sent to reporters.
Earlier in the day, the Israeli Security Cabinet approved four-hour extension of an initially agreed 12-hour humanitarian pause that expired Saturday evening.
A government source also told RIA Novosti that Israeli authorities were mulling over the UN request to further extend the Gaza truce till Sunday evening.
A humanitarian pause agreed by Israel and the Hamas movement started at 8:00 a.m. (05:00 GMT) and lasted till 8:00 p.m. (17:00 GMT).
Soon after the deal was over, Israel said Gaza militants had fired rockets at its territory inflicting no damage.
Israel has been conducting its Operation Protective Edge in order to put an end to rocket fire from Gaza and undermine the Hamas movement for 19 days already.
On July 17, the Israeli army switched to a ground offensive aimed at locating and destroying underground tunnels dug by militants to penetrate into Israel.
Earlier on Saturday, Palestinian Emergency Services spokesman Ashraf Qudra told RIA Novosti that the number of Palestinian who died in the conflict surpassed 1,000.
According to recent estimates, the Israeli side has lost 40 soldiers and three civilians since the beginning of the conflict.