An Israeli tank advances in a staging area near the Israel-Gaza border on Thursday. Photograph: Tsafrir Abayov/AP
Shelling continued in the Gaza Strip minutes before the ceasefire began at 8am local time and four Palestinians reported killed by Israeli tank fire
By: Harriet Sherwood, Jason Burke and Paul Lewis
A tense ceasefire has officially come into effect in Gaza after Israel and Hamas agreed to a 72-hour pause in their three-week conflict. The United States and United Nations brokered the temporary truce to allow for humanitarian relief and bring both sides to the table for talks on a longer-term halt to hostilities.
After a night of heavy bombardment, shelling continued in the Gaza Strip and rocket fire from Hamas hit Israel minutes before the ceasefire began at 8am on Friday local time. An Israeli army spokesman said it was looking into reports four Palestinians were killed and 15 wounded by tank fire nearly two hours after the truce began.
Delegations from Israel and Palestine are due to convene in Cairo for negotiations to be mediated by the Egyptian government.
Displaced Palestinians seek refuge at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on 27 July.
By: Rami Almeghari
A baby was delivered at al-Aqsa hospital in Gaza last Thursday. That should not be news; babies are born all the time. What was remarkable about this birth is that the child’s mother had been killed by the Israeli military.
The delivery of this child is a testament to the professionalism and dedication of the hospital’s staff. Three days earlier, Israel attacked the hospital with tank shells. At least five Palestinians were reported dead.
Israel denies striking Gaza’s main hospital and a playground, where seven children have been killed.
Missiles have struck several sites in Gaza, including a park inside a refugee camp and an outpatient building of the strip’s largest hospital, disrupting a relative lull at the start of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.
Eight people, including seven children, died following missile fire on a park inside the Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City, medics said.
The children were playing on a swing when the strike hit the park, Ayman Sahabani, the head of the emergency room at Shifa hospital, told reporters.
Munzer al-Derby, 35, who witnessed the strike, told Al Jazeera: “The kids were playing on the wheel… A rocket fell and cut them apart.”