At least 76 bodies found as Gaza truce kicks

2014-07-26 13:03
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Protest march for Palestine

Pro-Palestine protesters again took to the streets of Cape Town to protest against the Israeli incursion in Gaza. They marched from District 6 to Parliament to voice their anger over the recent Middle East conflict.

Gaza City - A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force on Saturday, with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 76 bodies from the rubble of Gaza inhomes.

The bodies were retrieved in the first few hours of the "humanitarian" truce that came into effect at 05:00 GMT as top diplomats gathered in Paris to press efforts for a longer-term ceasefire.

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.

Soon after the fragile ceasefire took effect, Palestinians ventured out into the streets of Gaza, with many returning to areas that had been too dangerous to enter for days.

Bodies in the streets

In northern Beit Hanun, southern Khan Yunis and eastern Shejaiya and Zaitun, they found scenes of utter destruction, with homes flattened and bodies lying in the streets and under rubble.

In Beit Hanun even the hospital was badly damaged by shelling, and AFP correspondents came across the charred body of a paramedic as emergency workers combed the debris for more dead.

Trails of blood on the ground were crossed by Israeli tank tracks, and there were holes where it appeared Israeli forces had been searching for Hamas tunnels.

Palestinian television showed footage of similar scenes in Shejaiya, which has been subjected to days of relentless Israeli tank fire.

Stiff bodies lay on the floor of a room in one building, one caked in dried blood, all of them covered in dust.

Emergency services spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said the three hours into the truce, rescue workers recovered 13 bodies in Shejaiya in eastern Gaza City, 13 more in Deir al-Balah and Nusseirat in central Gaza, and nine in north Gaza.

'Humanitarian window'

Hamas said it and other militant groups in Gaza had reached "national consensus" for the truce. Israel later confirmed it would observe what it called "a humanitarian window" in Gaza.

The brief lull came after US Secretary of State John Kerry's proposal for a seven-day truce during which the two sides would negotiate a longer-term deal was rejected by Israel's security cabinet on Friday night.

Speaking after the rejection, at a news conference in Cairo with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Kerry said Israel and Hamas "still have some terminology" to agree to on a ceasefire, but added they had "fundamental framework" on a truce.

On Saturday, the US diplomat flew to Paris where French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was to host him and their counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Turkey and the European Union.

At odds over final deal

On Friday, Ban had urged a truce that would last through the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, which is expected to fall around Monday.

But the two sides remain at odds over the shape of a final deal to end the fighting.

Hamas says any truce must include a guaranteed end to Israel's eight-year blockade of Gaza, while in Israel there are calls for any deal to include the demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip.

The situation in Gaza has created tensions in the West Bank, where protests against Israel's role in the conflict erupted after Friday prayers.

Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinian teenagers early Saturday morning in separate clashes in the north and south of the West Bank.

That followed the deaths of six Palestinians on Friday, including five shot dead by Israeli troops and one killed by an Israeli settler.

In Gaza, there have been international concerns about the number of civilians killed in the conflict, including in a Thursday attack in which at least 15 people were killed in the alleged Israeli shelling of a UN school.

The facility was sheltering some of the 100 000 Palestinians who have fled their homes during fighting.

Rights groups say about 80% of the casualties so far have been civilians, and the UN agency for children Unicef said on Friday that 192 children had been killed during the conflict.

The Israeli army on Saturday announced the death of two soldiers in Gaza fighting on Friday evening. It named one as Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland, 21, but did not give further details.

Three civilians have been killed inside Israel by rocket fire from Gaza, which continued on Saturday morning before the truce with three shot down by missile defences and one falling on open ground, the army said.

It said militants fired 60 rockets into southern Israel on Friday, with another 15 intercepted.
Read more on:    un  |  hamas  |  israel  |  palestine  |  middle east peace  |  gaza conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
68 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.