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Report: Israel agrees to extend truce for 24 hours

July 27, 2014 12:23 A.M. (Updated: July 27, 2014 1:42 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's security cabinet late Saturday voted to extend the humanitarian truce with Gaza militants for 24 hours, media reported.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said on its website that after being pressed by the UN, Israel agreed to halt airstrikes and shellings on the Gaza Strip until midnight Sunday, but would continue locating and destroying tunnels.

The report said the army would respond to any violation of the ceasefire.

A diplomatic source had told Haaretz earlier that Hamas would agree to a 24-hour extension of the ceasefire.

Earlier Israeli media reported that Israel had extended the humanitarian ceasefire from 8 p.m to 12:00 a.m., but a Hamas spokesman said the Islamist movement had not been consulted about the extension.

Al-Qassam Brigades said it fired rockets into Israel 40 minutes after the truce officially expired.

A Ma'an reporter in Gaza said that following rocket fire, Israeli forces shot a man dead in Deir al-Balah and shelled an area east of Rafah.

Also late Saturday, the Israeli army said two soldiers who had been wounded in Gaza in recent days had died of their wounds, bringing the number of soldiers killed since the beginning of the ground invasion to 42.

Another rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome over Kiryat Ekron in central Israel.

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza rose to well over 1,000 on Saturday, as search teams recovered bodies from destroyed buildings during the brief ceasefire.

Some 151 bodies were recovered during the 12-hour window, according to the Ministry of Health.

Nearly 6,000 Palestinians have been injured in the offensive.
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