Gaza ceasefire welcomed but quickly over

Published on Friday, 01 August 2014 11:17
Written by Vicki Mitchem

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has welcomed the 72 hour unconditional humanitarian ceasefire announced last night in Gaza.

He said: "I welcome the news of an agreement of a ceasefire to halt the violence we have seen. This is an achievement we have all been working tirelessly for, with visits around the region and talks in Paris last weekend.

"I applaud the efforts of Secretary Kerry and partners such as Egypt who should be congratulated for all they have done to bring an end to this humanitarian crisis.

"We should now redouble our efforts and leave no stone unturned, to ensure this is a lasting and durable ceasefire to make way for substantial discussions to resolve the underlying issues on both sides."

The ceasefire, starting at 8am local time (5am GMT) today would allow Gaza's residents to "bury the dead, care for the injured and restock food supplies" a statement said.

Palestinian officials in Gaza said 8,200 people have been injured in the past four weeks. 80% of those are civilians according to the UN.

After just two hours Israel told the UN the ceasefire was over. Reuters reported that at least 40 people had died by Israeli shelling in southern Gaza. 

Israeli military sources said the attack was in response to rocket fire on Kerem Shalom in Israel.

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