JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel agreed to a two-hour humanitarian truce in a Gaza City neighborhood where dozens of Gazans reportedly have been killed in heavy fighting.
The Red Cross on Sunday requested the cease-fire in the Shujaiya neighborhood, where at least 40 Gazans are reported dead, according to the Israeli media, citing Palestinian sources. The truce was later extended an hour.
Hamas reportedly made the request through the Red Cross in order to evacuate the dead and injured. The truce began at 1:30 p.m.
Any attempt to violate the cease-fire “will not be tolerated,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. Later, however, the IDF said rocket fire on Israel continued from the area during that period.
A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter that it ordered civilians in the neighborhood “days ago” to evacuate for their own safety.
“Hamas ordered them to stay. Hamas put them in the line of fire,” he said.
On Sunday, Israel again called on the neighborhood’s residents to evacuate, with instructions to move west and cross the Salah ad-Din road to Gaza City.