Significant steps towards a cease-fire on Wednesday were thwarted when at least three mortars were fired from Gaza into southern Israel.
The short-lived agreement lasted only about two hours, allowing humanitarian efforts bringing supplies into the area to resume. Israel said it would honor the cease-fire, but not sit idle if attacked.
During the temporary cease-fire, banks opened for the first time in 10 days in Gaza and residents poured into the streets.
Red Cross officials visited hospitals and damaged houses to assess medical needs, and worked with local officials to fix water pipelines.
There were no reported airstrikes once the cease-fire began. Still, the fear of death hung heavily over Gaza. The health ministry warned civilians to avoid gathering in squares.
“Should the humanitarian window be exploited by Hamas or other terror organizations for the purpose of launching attacks against Israeli civilian or military targets, the IDF will respond firmly and decisively,” the Israeli military said.
At least 230 Palestinians have been killed and close to 1,700 have been injured since Israel began its anti-Hamas military operation on July 7, according to Palestinian health officials.
That toll is set to rise in the wake of the broken cease-fire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the military authorization to use “full force” against militants in Gaza and vowed that Hamas and its allies would suffer for their decision not to halt their rocket fire into Israel.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest in the conflict.
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