MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – The Israeli authorities have no objections to the extension of a 12-hour humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip, expiring Saturday evening, Reuters reported on Saturday, quoting a government source.
“As far as Israel is concerned, there is no reason to prevent Gaza's people from stocking up on supplies, so long as the military can continue its work against the tunnels. Our war is not against the population,” the source said.
The announcement comes soon after the Palestinian Emergency Services said the death toll in Gaza had topped 1,000 as the conflict reached its 19th day.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced early on Saturday 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.
It was supposed that the truce would allow the civilian population in the enclave to replenish its food and medical supplies and to move from the conflict zone to safer areas.
Israel launched its Edge Protective Operation to put an end to rocket fire from Gaza and undermining the Hamas movement, which controls the region, back on July 8.
On July 17, the Israeli Army switched to a ground assault, largely aimed at demolishing the tunnels.