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Palestinians accuse Israel of immediately breaking 7-hour ceasefire that began Monday at 3am EST


GAZA/JERUSALEM, Aug 4 (Reuters) - A seven-hour truce under which Israel would unilaterally hold fire in most of the Gaza Strip went into force on Monday and Palestinians immediately accused Israel of breaking the ceasefire by bombing a house in Gaza City.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said 15 people were wounded in the strike on a house in Shati camp, mostly women and children.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report.

RELATED: Israeli airstrike kills militant leader in Gaza

Israel announced a temporary ceasefire to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid and allow some of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced by an almost four-week-old war to go home.

The announcement met with suspicion from Gaza's dominant Hamas Islamists and followed unusually strong censure from Washington at the apparent Israeli shelling on Sunday of a U.N.-run shelter that killed 10 people.

An Israeli defense official said the ceasefire, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (0700 to 1400 GMT), would apply everywhere but areas of the southern town of Rafah where ground forces have intensified assaults after three soldiers died in a Hamas ambush there on Friday.

"If the truce is breached, the military will return fire during the declared duration of the truce," the official said. The official said east Rafah was the only urban area in which troops and tanks were still present, having been withdrawn or redeployed near Gaza's border with Israel over the weekend.

Hamas, whose envoys are in Egypt for truce negotiations that Israel has shunned in anger at Friday's ambush in Rafah, saw a possible ruse in the humanitarian truce announcement.

"The calm Israel declared is unilateral and aims to divert attention away from the Israeli massacres. We do not trust such a calm and we urge our people to exercise caution," said the group's spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri.

Israel is winding down its offensive in the absence of a mediated disengagement deal with Hamas. It says the military is close to completing its main objective of destroying cross-border infiltration tunnels from Gaza and is prepared to resume strikes in response to any attacks by the Palestinians.

The Israeli chief military spokesman said forces were deployed along both sides of the Gaza border.

"Redeployment lets us work on the tunnels, provides defense (of Israeli communities nearby) and lets the forces set up for further activity. There is no ending here, perhaps an interim phase," Brigadier-General Motti Almoz told Army Radio.

In a predawn air strike Israel killed a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian group fighting alongside Hamas. Islamic Jihad identified him as Danyal Mansour, head of the group's northern command, and said he was killed in a bombing of a house in Jabalya. Almoz confirmed Israeli forces struck him.

Israel launched its offensive on July 8 following a surge in Hamas rocket salvoes. It escalated from air and naval barrages to overland incursions centered on Gaza's tunnel-riddled eastern frontier but also pushing into densely populated towns.

Gaza officials say 1,796 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and more than a quarter of the impoverished enclave's 1.8 million residents displaced. As many as 3,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed or damaged.

"DISGRACEFUL SHELLING"

Many of those evacuees have taken shelter in U.N.-run facilities, including a Rafah school where 10 people were killed on Sunday in what Gaza officials said was an Israeli air strike.

Israel said it was investigating the incident and that it may have been linked to an attempt by the military to kill Islamic Jihad gunmen, as they drove nearby.

International outcry crested against the Israelis. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the attack as a "moral outrage and a criminal act" and called for those responsible for the "gross violation of international humanitarian law" to be held accountable.

The United States said it was "appalled" by the "disgraceful shelling" and urged its Middle East ally to do more to prevent harm to civilians. Washington also called for an investigation into other, similar attacks on U.N. schools in Gaza.

Israel says it makes every effort to avoid non-combatant casualties and that Hamas invites these by launching rockets from, and entrenching gunmen inside, congested civilian areas.

"Hamas has an interest in Gaza residents suffering, thinking that the world will blame Israel for their suffering," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Monday, adding that Israel was allowing foreign aid shipments to enter the Palestinian territory.

The prime minister's office said Hamas had further inflamed the humanitarian crisis by turning U.N. facilities into "terrorist hot spots". The main U.N. agency in Gaza, UNRWA, says it has found rockets in three of its schools.

Israel has lost 64 soldiers in combat and three civilians to Palestinian cross-border shelling that has emptied many of its southern villages. Iron Dome interceptors, air raid sirens and public shelters have helped stem Israeli casualties from the Gazan rockets.

Egyptian truce mediation, supported by the United States and the United Nations and also involving Qatar, Turkey and Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has been complicated by the dramatically divergent terms set by Israel and Hamas.

Israel has said Gaza must be stripped of tunnels and rocket stocks. Hamas rules this out, and demands an easing of the crippling Gaza blockade enforced by both Israel and Egypt, which consider the Palestinian Islamists a security threat.

In Cairo on Sunday, Palestinian delegates said they also wanted Israel to quit Gaza, facilitate reconstruction of the battered territory and release Palestinian prisoners.

The Israelis, however, have shown little interest in resuming negotiations after blaming Hamas for violating Friday's truce with the Rafah ambush - an accusation echoed by the United States and the United Nations, though disputed by Hamas. (Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Israel: 'No Fire Into UN School'

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martys1952 August 04 2014 at 6:25 AM

AOL and its Hamas writers have not had a positive Israel storiy and personally I am fed up. Hire some pro Israel and American writes and stop the nonsense.

You have to wonder why AOL would take this negative outlook towards Israel.

The story today is (Palestinians accuse Israel of immediately breaking 7-hour ceasefire )

Who is giving the information to AOL that Israel broke anything?

Personally I wont forget how AOL has allowed all these one sided stories and remember that after 911 these same people that AOL defends were dancing in the street.

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42 replies
qqq146 August 04 2014 at 6:20 AM

The Palestinians cheered in the streets when we had 911 so I cheer every time they are hit, they allowed Hamas to rule them and if Hamas won't stop firing then let the war take it's course, Israel has every right to defend itself. The sad part is Israel will stop and won't finish this and in the future will bring much worse fighting as Hamas and others become more weapons capable and more determined, never been about the blockades or they would have fired upon Egypt as well, humm I wonder why not, Hamas is a joke!!!

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18 replies
dm2473 August 04 2014 at 6:09 AM

Never believe a word that comes from Hamas.

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5 replies
belpugs1 August 04 2014 at 6:27 AM

Hamas commits crimes against humanity within their own kind. Especially....women.

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5 replies
Tspoon August 04 2014 at 6:47 AM

Geeze Huff Puke... Israel killed a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad! Why did it you bury it so far down in your artical?

It's shamful the way you cheer lead for terrorist!

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3 replies
for.good.or.evil August 04 2014 at 7:00 AM

After all the lies coming from those Hamas Muslim terrorists, they could say the sky is blue and the world should still require verification.

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1 reply
hisservant77 for.good.or.evil August 04 2014 at 8:33 AM

The sad part is that due to the media, I'm running into many people who actually believe all this nonsense that Hamas spews out, and is speaking about how evil Israel is. It's ridiculous. It's like people cannot think for themselves or gather logic sense but rather believe anything negative about Israel they can read!

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1 reply
STAN hisservant77 August 04 2014 at 9:09 AM

It boils down to one thing...with the noteable exception of Fox news, the rest of them are leftist terrorist supporting morons which is precisely why Barack Hussein Obama was elected to a second reign of terror.

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Tooslow August 04 2014 at 5:49 AM

HP will always announce the end of some event, but never the "what" which occurred to trigger the event. Why?

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6 replies
Say NO to libs! August 04 2014 at 6:49 AM

How much longer are the liberal media and 0BlameBush & his fellow clown car passengers going to believe Hamas ISN'T bombing the innocent people of Gaza to further their own agenda. Israel SHOULD ignore the pansies calling for BS cease fires and show Hamas what Hell REALLY looks like!

Flag Reply +36 rate up
1 reply
Nancy Say NO to libs! August 04 2014 at 12:01 PM

I am a liberal, I am an Obama supporter, I blame Bush. Now what in the world does that have to do with my total support of Israel's right to defend itself and my complete repulsion of the Hamas tactic of using civilians, women, children, mosques, schools, hospitals, etc as a sneaky, underhanded, vile, inhuman, disgusting, etc method of waging war and thinking they can and actually succeeding in some ways of fooling people into thinking they are the victims here. What does my liberal democrat status in the US have to do with my feelings about Israel's right to defend itself??? How dare you assume I think Israel should allow itself to lie down and die to these cowardly thugs just because I believe the people of the USA should not allow poor children to have their food stamps and medicaid cut so corporate welfare can be continued to major oil and coal an.

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1 reply
bharrison777 Nancy August 04 2014 at 2:15 PM

Well Mr. liberal tell Obama to secure our borders and send all the illegals and American poor children will have their food stamps. By the way Obama has take the muslins side and our foreign policy is pro muslin. Thanks for your vote that put htis idiot in office.

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Mike August 04 2014 at 6:05 AM

You can't expect much from a nation that brags that it is the offspring of a brother and sister.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
6 replies
sfalk0001 August 04 2014 at 11:25 AM

Israel's Enenies are our enemies.
Israel's fight is our fight.

When Israel fights Hamas, Israel is defending all of us.
When we were attacked on 9/11, Hamas leaders cheered.

The above was taken from a full page ad in the wall street journal.

Sponsored by Christians United for Isreal.

www. CUFI.org/Hamas

They got it right. WE are all in this together for the free world!!!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
aol~~ 1209600

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