World / Middle East

Israel announces 7-hour humanitarian truce

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-04 09:26

Israel announces 7-hour humanitarian truce

An Israeli soldier adjusts a national flag as he rides atop a tank near the border, after returning to Israel from Gaza, Aug 3, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

JERUSALEM - The Israeli military announced that it will hold fire for seven hours Monday in parts of the Gaza Strip to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid and for displaced Palestinians to return to their homes.

The humanitarian truce, beginning at 10 am (0700 GMT), however, would not apply in areas of the southern Gaza town of Rafah, a Defense Ministry official said in a statement.

The statement also said Israeli military would respond to any attacks during that time.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday strongly condemned the killing of at least 10 Palestinians in shelling outside of a UN-run school in Gaza, which is offering shelter to thousands of Palestinian civilians, saying that "the attack is yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law."

The US Statement Department also said Sunday that the United States is "appalled" by the "disgraceful" shelling outside a United Nations school in Gaza that killed at least ten Palestinian civilians.

"We once again stress that Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

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