GAZA CITY/ JERUSALEM: Israel is extending a humanitarian ceasefire in its military campaign in Gaza for another 24 hours, to Sunday night, a government official said.
The Israeli cabinet agreed late Saturday to prolong its pause in fighting "until midnight (2100 GMT) Sunday" in line with a UN request, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Hamas rejects Israel's 24-hour extension of Gaza ceasefire
Hamas on Sunday rejected Israel's decision to extend by 24 hours a pause in hostilities in Gaza, saying Israeli tanks first had to withdraw from the territory.
"No humanitarian ceasefire is valid without Israeli tanks withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and without residents being able to return to their homes and ambulances carrying bodies being able to freely move around in Gaza," Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum said in a statement.
UN pleads for seven day truce
Meanwhile, United Nation Secretary Ban Ki-moon has appealed to both parties to agree on a seven day truce in Gaza.
Ban appeals for extension of humanitarian pause, reiterates call for 7 day truce in Gaza http://t.co/LhZTz2I2B5— UN Radio (@UN_Radio) July 26, 2014
The extension in the ceasefire will allow vital humanitarian efforts to sustain.
Ban said, "It would help open the door for a renewed political process which is the only way of achieving durable peace".
The UN Chief restated that the blockade and closure of Gaza must stop.
While adding that if the root cause is not tackled another violence episode will develop.
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