Hamas dismisses Israeli lull as propaganda

Photo: Hamas dismisses Israeli lull as propaganda
 / Arab-Israel Relations

A Hamas spokesman dismissed the Israeli army's announcement of a 4-hour humanitarian lull in Gaza as "propaganda," AP reported.

"The Israeli army's announcement is nothing but media propaganda and has no value because it excludes the hot spots on the border," the group's Al-Quds TV quoted an unidentified spokesman as saying.

The Israeli army had said the lull in the fighting in the Gaza Strip was to begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

"The IDF has authorized a temporary window in the Gaza Strip. The window will commence today between 3-7 p.m. (1200 - 1600 GMT)," the army said in a statement.

But the lull would not apply in areas where ground troops were "currently operating," it said, without elaborating in a statement that came several hours after the army advanced deeper into the Gaza Strip.

"Residents must not return to areas that have previously been asked to evacuate," it added.

U.N. figures show that up to 240,000 people have fled their homes as a result of the fighting which began on July 8 and has so far killed more than 1,297 people in Gaza and 56 in Israel.

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