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Gaza Cease-Fire Falls Apart, Future Unclear

Cease-fire between Israel and Hamas lasts a couple hours before being reportedly broken by militant mortar fire.
Posted at 9:10 AM, Jul 17, 2014

As updates continue to pour out of Gaza, a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire between Hamas and Israel looks like it fell apart. (Via Getty Images)

The Israeli Defense Forces took to Twitter Thursday to announce militants from Gaza allegedly broke the cease-fire, writing, "As the IDF holds to the humanitarian cease-fire, Gazan terrorists violate the truce by firing 3 mortars at Israel." ​(Via Twitter / @IDFSpokesperson)

And they've been sending outupdates since.

According to CNN the mortars were fired two hours into the five-hour cease-fire, and landed in southern Israel. There were no reported injuries. 

The cease-fire started Thursday morning to allow people in Gaza to get humanitarian aid, and was agreed to after requests earlier this week from the UN. (Via CBS)

"More precisely, I received a call from Mr. Robert Serry, the U.N. special envoy, asking for the Israeli attacks to stop. This is not a truce, this is a conditional humanitarian cease-fire." (Via BBC)

The cease-fire came less than a day after an Israeli airstrike killed four Palestinian boys who were reportedly playing near the Gaza City docks. (Via RT

A correspondent from The Guardian who witnessed the shelling that killed them wrote, "Even from a distance of 200 metres, it was obvious that three of them were children."

With Israel reporting the cease-fire broken, many outlets were left wondering how Israel would respond. 

The New York Times reported Wednesday a ground invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces was likely, with an anonymous military official telling their correspondent, "only 'boots on the ground' could eradicate terrorism from Gaza... Israel was even considering a long-term reoccupation of the coastal territory."

And then Thursday, the broken cease fire. But not long after that news, some reports of another cease fire.

CBS News tweeted Thursday morning, "Israeli official says cease-fire with Palestinians has been agreed to and will begin Friday morning." 

The ​BBC backed up that tweet, reporting the two sides had agreed to a deal for a "comprehensive ceasefire" that would start at 6 a.m. local time Friday. 

But there was no public confirmation, and as NBC's foreign correspondent Richard Engle tweeted, "Many questions now. Is ceasefire deal real? And, if so, will militants respect it?" ​(Via Twitter / @RichardEngel)

Israel for its part, later reported that one of its soldiers had been lightly injured during fighting near Gaza, and the IDF had responded with mortar fire.