12-Hour Cease-Fire Brings Rare Pause In Gaza Fighting

During the 12-hour cease-fire, Palestinians in Gaza are reportedly venturing out to survey the damage and stock up on food supplies.
Posted at 8:46 AM, Jul 26, 2014

By most accounts, the 12-hour-long cease-fire in Gaza appeared to be holding as of Saturday morning. (Via Getty Images

Journalists in Gaza tweeted Palestinians were using the pause in hostilities to stock up on food supplies and to evacuate to safer neighborhoods. (Via Twitter / @rpollard, Twitter / @ChrisGunness, Twitter / @DerekStoffelCBC

Citing the Palestinian Authority's official radio station, Haaretz reports rescue teams in Gaza pulled out at leasts 60 bodies from the rubble in the first two hours of the cease-fire.

​That would put the Palestinian death toll over 900. On the Israeli side, more than 30 have died in the nearly three weeks of fighting, most of them soldiers. (Via Getty Images

Though a U.S.-led effort to broker a week-long cease-fire failed, many observers are cautiously optimistic this 12-hour cease-fire will lead to something more permanent. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called it a start.

MADDOW: “The UN proposed it. Israel and Hamas agreed to it and that is something. A first ray of hope here in is what an otherwise unmitigated disaster.” (Via MSNBC

USA Today is more skeptical, writing: “the temporary lull was unlikely to change the trajectory of the current hostilities amid ominous signs that the Gaza war is spilling over into the West Bank.”

On Friday, five Palestinian protesters were killed during clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank. (Via Getty Images

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Paris, along with his counterparts from Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Qatar, Turkey and the EU, to discuss efforts for a longer cease-fire. (Via U.S. Department of State

Hamas says it will only accept a cease-fire that includes a lifting of the blockade of Gaza. For their part, Israeli officials say they need more time to search for and destroy the tunnels and rocket launching sites used by Hamas militants.