Limited truce in Gaza as Israel winds down ground operations

GAZA CITY (KYTX) — A seven-hour "humanitarian" truce between Hamas and Israel appeared to hold as Israel seemed to be winding down its ground operations in Gaza.

The truce was called to allow aid through to Gaza but Israel's military said it did not apply to areas where troops were still operating. The military had said it would respond to any attacks.

The cease-fire ended at 10 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, Israeli media were reporting Monday there was an attack in Jerusalem by a tractor on an Israeli bus that killed at least one person. Police described the incident as a "terrorist attack," indicating Palestinian involvement. In 2008 a similar attack carried out by an East Jerusalem Arab left three Israelis dead and 30 wounded.

Since the weekend, Israel has been winding down its ground operation that started July 17 to destroy tunnels it says are used by Hamas to carry out attacks. The bulk of Israel's troops in Gaza have now been pulled out as its mission to destroy Hamas tunnels nears completion, the military said. However, it has kept up its heavy aerial bombardments of Gaza.

Early Monday, an Israeli airstrike killed Daniel Mansour, a commander of the Islamic Jihad group, a close ally of Gaza's militant Hamas rulers.

Gaza police said Israeli air, tank and navy gunboat fire targeted houses, agricultural plots and open areas. Israeli jet fighters destroyed three mosques, nine houses and a warehouse for construction material, police said.

Gaza's Health Ministry says that since the conflict started on July 8 more than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians. The Israeli military says that at least 60 of its soldiers have been killed in fighting.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under international pressure to halt the fighting because of the heavy civilian death toll.

On Sunday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon called an Israeli airstrike on a school that killed 10 people a "moral outrage and a criminal act" and demanded a quick investigation.

Although most Israelis back the government's operation in Gaza, some Israelis are skeptical about the government's stated mission to destroy the Hamas tunnel system.

"It's confusing to be a civilian in a situation where you don't really know if they are really considered a threat, these tunnels," said Tehila Ezrahi, 36, in Jerusalem. "Or if it's just something that they are just saying in order to justify what they are doing."


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