Fragile 12-hour truce between Israel, Hamas goes into force

Muslim Gazans gather for an Iftar meal at a Greek Orthodox church in Gaza City where many Palestinians have sought taking shelter, Friday, July 25, 2014. (photo credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

Muslim Gazans gather for an Iftar meal at a Greek Orthodox church in Gaza City where many Palestinians have sought taking shelter, Friday, July 25, 2014. (photo credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

Palestinians return to streets in Gaza as lull takes effect; IDF says will continue targeting terror tunnels

(SOURCE)   A 12-hour humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas went into force on Saturday morning, as top diplomats pressed efforts to secure a longer-term ceasefire.

The fragile ceasefire began at 8:00 am (0500 GMT).

Hamas said it and other groups in Gaza had reached “national consensus on a humanitarian truce”, and Israel later confirmed it would observe “a humanitarian window in the Gaza Strip”.

The Hamas-run interior ministry in Gaza advised people not to approach bombed-out buildings and militant bases for fear of “explosive objects”.

The Israeli military warned Gaza residents who had been told to evacuate their homes not to return and said “activities to locate and neutralize tunnels in the Gaza Strip will continue”.

The appeals came after US Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in Cairo on Friday, said efforts to broker a longer halt to the fighting had yet to bear fruit.

On Friday night, the Israeli cabinet unanimously rejected a ceasefire offer drawn up by Kerry which Israel says is heavily tilted toward Hamas.

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