Israel, Hamas agree Gaza humanitarian aid truce

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a UN request to halt hostilities for five hours on humanitarian grounds on Thursday, while efforts continue to broker a longer-term truce. The sides announced the temporary lull in fighting across the Gaza border after an Israeli strike killed four children on a beach in the coastal strip on Wednesday. A punishing Israeli offensive aimed at halting rocket fire into Israel by Gaza militants had resumed after previous Egyptian-brokered truce efforts collapsed Tuesday. Israel’s campaign, which entered its 10th day on Thursday, has killed 223 Palestinians so far, with a Gaza-based human rights group saying over 80 percent of them were civilians.

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