Israel halts firing to allow aid into parts of Gaza
The Israeli military halted its operations in Gaza for three hours today to allow residents of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory to obtain supplies.
The temporary cease-fire was taking place in the "whole of the Gaza Strip" from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. (6 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET) today, Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Peter Lerner told CNN.
The three-hour truce is scheduled to take place every other day, "to enable replenishing of supplies and allow aid activities," he said.
Lerner noted that Israeli forces would respond to any aggression toward them during the pause.
Israel said Wednesday that it "welcomes" a truce plan by Egypt and France and will continue its discussions with both countries about how to achieve a cease-fire in Gaza, an Israeli government spokesman told CNN.
"We are continuing our dialogue with the Egyptians and the French to achieve a sustainable quiet on the basis of a complete cessation of hostile fire from Gaza into Israel and an internationally supported arms embargo on Hamas," the spokesman said.
Five rockets struck southern Israel by late morning Wednesday after 35 fell on Israeli territory Tuesday, Israeli police said.
There was no immediate report of injuries from Wednesday's attacks, while one rocket Tuesday inflicted minor injuries to a 3-month-old baby in Gedera, about 24 miles (40 km) north of Gaza.
At least 640 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the campaign began on December 27, the United Nations said, citing the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Video Watch the aftermath of a rocket attack "
Of those deaths, approximately 30 percent are women and children, according to the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Seven Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed.
Israeli warplanes and helicopter gunships hit 30 targets in Gaza overnight, while land-based artillery and warships offshore fired at Palestinian fighters in support of Israeli ground troops, the Israel Defense Forces reported as the campaign entered its 12th day.
Food, water, medicine and electricity shortages have been reported throughout Gaza during the campaign, and a call by France and Egypt for a humanitarian truce appeared to win some support from key players at the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. Video Watch more about the worsening conditions in Gaza "
Tuesday was the bloodiest day of the Israeli ground offensive to date, when Israeli shelling struck a U.N. school in northern Gaza that was being used as a shelter by hundreds of civilians.
The Israeli military said Hamas militants were firing mortars from the school, prompting an artillery strike that killed at least 40 people and wounded dozens more. U.N. officials said there were no militants at the school. Video 'No safe haven' in Gaza, U.N. official says "
"We are 99.9 percent certain that there were no militants. There were no militant activities in the school or in the school compound," said Chris Gunness of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency.
The Palestine Red Crescent said five ambulances had been hit by Israeli forces, killing six people. The agency did not give a breakdown of paramedics and patients, and CNN was not able to independently verify these allegations. Learn what's behind the conflict "
The Israeli military said it was unaware of any such incidents.