Israel extends truce as Gaza death toll over 1,000

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Israel extends truce as Gaza death toll over 1,000
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ASHKELON, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Israeli soldiers walk along the beach during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 in Ashkelon, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ASHKELON, ISRAEL - JULY 26: People enjoy the beach during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 in Ashkelon, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ASHKELON, ISRAEL - JULY 26: An Israeli soldier's uniform and boots sit in the sand on the beach during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 in Ashkelon, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Ruty Friza (L) and Pini Friza (C) meet with their son, First Lieutenant Ziv Friza during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Ruty Friza (L) and Pini Friza (C) meet with their son, First Lieutenant Ziv Friza during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
A bomb (Top R) is seen dropping during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke and debris fill the air during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Destroyed buildings are seen following an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Debris and smoke fill the air during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A bomb (Top R) is seen dropping during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A fire ball and smoke is seen during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A bomb (Top L) is seen dropping during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 26, 2014 shows the rubble of destroyed buildings and homes in the Shejaiya residential district of Gaza City, as families returned to find their homes ground into rubble by relentless Israeli tank fire and air strikes. The death toll in Gaza soared to more than 1,000 as bodies were pulled from the rubble during a 12-hour truce top diplomats urged Israel and Hamas to extend. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 26, 2014 shows the rubble of destroyed buildings and homes in the Shejaiya residential district of Gaza City, as families returned to find their homes ground into rubble by relentless Israeli tank fire and air strikes. The death toll in Gaza soared to more than 1,000 as bodies were pulled from the rubble during a 12-hour truce top diplomats urged Israel and Hamas to extend. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians walk amid the rubble of destroyed buildings and homes in the Shejaiya residential district of Gaza City on July 26, 2014, as families returned to find their homes ground into rubble by relentless Israeli tank fire and air strikes. The death toll in Gaza soared to more than 1,000 as bodies were pulled from the rubble during a 12-hour truce top diplomats urged Israel and Hamas to extend. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
A fire ball and smoke is seen during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A fire ball and smoke is seen during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 26: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L), U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) and Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah (R) hold a joint press conference about 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza, on July 26, 2014, in Paris, France. (Photo by Hakan Goktepe/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JULY 26: (ISRAEL OUT) In this handout provided by the Israel Minister of Defense office, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R), meets with Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon (C) and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, during an evening consultation at the Kirya July 26, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and over 1,035 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Ariel Harmoni/ Israel Minister of Defense via Getty Images)
BEIT HANOUN, GAZA - JULY 26: Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah (2ndL), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (2nd R), as they walk down staircase after their meeting regarding 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza, on July 26, 2014, at the foreign ministry in Paris, France. (Photo by Ezz Zanoun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
(From L) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond give a press conference after their meeting regarding a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, on July 26, 2014, at the foreign ministry in Paris. Top diplomats from the US, Europe and the Middle East called Saturday for an extension to the temporary 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas currently in force in Gaza. 'We all call on parties to extend the humanitarian ceasefire,' France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters after a meeting in Paris with US Secretary of State John Kerry and their counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, Qatar and Turkey, as well as an EU representative. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE ANDRIEU (Photo credit should read PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: People wait for their loved ones serving in the Israeli defense forces at a road block just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border during a 12-hour ceasefire on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: People wait for their loved ones serving in the Israeli defense forces just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border during a 12-hour ceasefire on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: People wait for their loved ones serving in the Israeli defense forces at a road block just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border during a 12-hour ceasefire on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
SDEROT, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Israeli tanks fire a barrage of artillery shells moments before a 12 hour cease fire goes into effect on the morning of July 26, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. The ceasefire was brokered after nearly three weeks of fighting in which according to recent reports around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians have been killed. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
SDEROT, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Israeli soldiers run between tanks firing a barrage of artillery shells moments before a 12 hour cease fire goes into effect on the morning of July 26, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. The ceasefire was brokered after nearly three weeks of fighting in which according to recent reports around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians have been killed. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
SDEROT, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Israeli soldiers run between tanks firing a barrage of artillery shells moments before a 12 hour cease fire goes into effect on the morning of July 26, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. The ceasefire was brokered after nearly three weeks of fighting in which according to recent reports around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians have been killed. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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By KARIN LAUB and IAN DEITCH

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israel on Saturday extend a 12-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war by four hours, the longest lull in 19 days of Israel-Hamas fighting, as a Gaza health official said the overall number of Palestinians killed surpassed 1,000.

Thousands of Gaza residents who fled the violence streamed back to devastated border areas during Saturday's truce to find large-scale destruction: fighting pulverized scores of homes, wreckage blocked roads and power cables dangled in the streets.

In the northern town of Beit Hanoun, Siham Kafarneh, 37, sat on the steps of a small grocery, weeping. The mother of eight said the home she had spent 10 years saving up for and moved into two months earlier had been destroyed.

"Nothing is left. Everything I have is gone," she said.

Across Gaza, more than 130 bodies were pulled from the rubble Saturday, officials said. In southern Gaza, 20 members of an extended family were killed before the start of the lull when a tank shell hit a building where they had sought refuge, Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra said.

Israel launched a major air campaign in Gaza on July 8 and later sent ground troops into the Hamas-ruled territory in an operation it said was aimed at halting Palestinian rocket fire and destroying cross-border tunnels used for attacks.

More than 1,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed and more than 6,000 have been wounded over the past 19 days, al-Kidra said. Israeli strikes have destroyed hundreds of homes, including close to 500 in targeted hits, and forced tens of thousands of people to flee, according to Palestinian rights groups.

More than 160,000 displaced Palestinians have sought shelter at dozens of United Nations schools, an eight-fold increase since the start of Israel's ground operation more than a week ago, the U.N. said.

Israel says it is doing its utmost to prevent civilian casualties, including sending evacuation warnings to residents in targeted areas, and blames Hamas for putting civilians in harm's way. Israel has lost 40 soldiers and two civilians, and a Thai worker also has been killed.

"There is no proof that any kind of gratuitous damage is being inflicted," said Israeli legislator Ofer Shelah of the centrist Yesh Atid party. Israeli troops are "fighting with an enemy dug in within the civilian population, dug in underground or within the houses there," he said, adding that "those are the consequences of such a fight."

Later Saturday, the U.N. asked Israel to extend the humanitarian truce by 24 hours, according to a text message by an Israeli government official who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss it.

The Israeli Cabinet voted by phone to agree to a four-hour extension and to consider the U.N. request at a Cabinet meeting later Saturday, the message said. The cease-fire now is scheduled last until midnight (2100 GMT) with the extension.

In Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with European foreign ministers and later with foreign ministers from Qatar and Turkey to find ways of building on Saturday's lull.

On Friday, Israel rejected a proposal by Kerry and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to halt fire for a week and to begin talks during this period on easing the border blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Hamas has said it would not halt fire until it won guarantees that the border blockade, enforced by Israel and Egypt, would be lifted.

Under a gradual extension of a humanitarian truce, Israel would not be required to discuss new border arrangements in Gaza. It would also have a freer hand in continuing to demolish Hamas military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border, as it has done in recent days.

The Israeli military said that through Saturday's lull, troops uncovered four more tunnel shafts and said they would continue such activities.

A Hamas spokesman, Mushir al-Masri, speaking before the Israeli decision, said that the group would consider an extension of the truce as long as "it does not mean that we retreat from our known demands."

The Israeli military said three mortar shells from Gaza landed in Israel after 8 p.m. Saturday. Israel's military did not immediately respond.

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