Fighting resumes in Gaza, as humanitarian truce collapses

Photo: Fighting resumes in Gaza, as humanitarian truce collapses / Arab-Israel Relations

Israel resumed shelling the Gaza Strip, less than an hour into the temporary humanitarian truce on Sunday, saying the fire was in response to continued fire by Hamas, Xinhua reported.

Hamas blamed Israel for initiating the fire and bombing medical teams, according to a twitter account associated with the Islamist organization.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, spokesperson for the Israeli army, said in a statement that "once again Hamas breaches ceasefire... the Israeli Defense Force is responding accordingly."

Earlier Sunday, Israel agreed on a request by the International Red Cross Committee for a two-hour humanitarian truce, starting at 13:30 local time (1030 GMT), in order to allow medical teams in Gaza to evacuate the dead and wounded to hospitals.

The move came after Israel's heaviest shelling since its offensive on Gaza began 13 days ago left at least 40 casualties in the district of Shejaiya in northeast Gaza, according to Palestinian medical teams. Thousands of residents flee their homes, witnesses told local media.

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