Israel extends cease-fire for 24 hours in Gaza

 

Israel's Cabinet extended a humanitarian cease-fire for 24 hours on Saturday but said it would respond to any attacks from Gaza, hours after Hamas rejected talks to lengthen a 12-hour truce by four hours.

The announcement comes after Hamas fired five rockets at Israel late Saturday, as the death toll in 19 days of fighting topped 1,000.

A Palestinian health ministry official gave the new death toll to multiple news outlets as officials have been able to safely navigate neighborhoods devastated in the fighting and recover bodies of people, many of them civilians, killed in the nearly three weeks of violence. The temporary truce has allowed many residents of the region to return to their homes, gather supplies and witness the scope of the destruction.

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Forty-two Israelis have reportedly been killed in the violence.

In Paris, international ministers gathered to urge a longer cease-fire and reconciliation for the political, economic and security issues dividing Gaza.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius spoke on behalf of diplomats from seven nations, the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar who gathered in Paris, according to the Associated Press.

"All of us call on the parties to extend the humanitarian ceasefire that is currently under way," Fabius said.

On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that “serious progress” has been made to extend the ceasefire to 24 or 48 hours.

“We’re going to continue to work at this, and I’m confident that with goodwill, with good effort, I think progress can hopefully be made,” he said. 

This story was updated at 6:50 p.m.

Julian Hattem contributed.

 

 

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