Hamas agrees to 24-hour truce
Hamas has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in its conflict with Israel in the Gaza Strip that should start within the hour, the group's spokesman said on Sunday.
"In response to UN intervention and considering the situation of our people and the occasion of Eid, it has been agreed among resistance factions to endorse a 24-hour humanitarian calm, starting from 2 p.m. on Sunday," Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters.
There was no immediate word from Israel, which called off its own 24-hour truce earlier in the day after Hamas fired a volley of rockets into southern and central Israel.
The IDF on Sunday resumed striking targets in the Gaza Strip after Hamas rocket fire broke a UN requested humanitarian cease-fire to which Israel had agreed.
Among the targets struck by the IDF were concealed rocket launchers, which were behind the projectile fire into Israel.
The IDF also struck a terror tunnel in Gaza, as well as three terror operatives.
The order to resume the Gaza offensive came from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon after some 25 rockets were fired from Gaza Sunday despite Israel's agreement to extend a UN humanitarian cease-fire.
"Yet again Hamas is cynically exploiting the residents of Gaza in order to use them as human shields. Hamas first rejected the Egyptian cease-fire initiative and afterwards violated last week's UN humanitarian truce. It later violated the Red Cross humanitarian truce and has rebuffed the UN request for a humanitarian truce in order to allow the residents of Gaza to prepare for Eid al-Fitr," a government statement said.
The IDF announced it would be resuming attacks on terror targets in the Gaza Strip through the air, sea and on the ground.
In light of the decision, the IDF called on civilians in Gaza to avoid areas where fighting was taking place.
Prior to the announcement, rocket sirens wailed in southern and central Israel on Sunday morning as Israel's Gaza operation entered its twentieth day. Rocket alert air raid sirens were sounded in the Shfela and Sharon regions on Sunday morning around 8:25 a.m. One rocket landed in an open area in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
In addition, the police reported a barrage of rocket fire on villages in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Rocket alert sirens sounded in the Ashdod and Ashkelon regions Sunday morning around 8:10 a.m. Interceptions were heard over the cities.
The security cabinet on Saturday night had decided to accede to a UN request and agree to a 24-hour extension of a humanitarian cease-fire until midnight Sunday.
Diplomatic officials said Saturday that despite the cease-fire, the IDF would act against any violation of the truce by the other side. In addition, during the lull in the fighting, the IDF said it would "continue to neutralize the terror tunnels inside Gaza. Four terror tunnels were neutralized in Gaza on Saturday, despite the cease fire that was in place from 8:00 a.m."
The security cabinet will meet again on Sunday.
There appeared to be little progress on the diplomatic front and in international efforts to secure an end to the conflict.
US Secretary of State John Kerry flew back to Washington overnight after meeting in Paris with foreign ministers of France, Italy, Britain, Germany, Turkey and Qatar.