Israel to Halt Attacks on Gaza for Three Hours per Day

World | January 7, 2009, Wednesday // 00:00

Beginning on Wednesday, Israel would halt its military operations in Gaza for three hours each day, an Israeli military spokesperson reported, cited by leading information agencies.

The temporary cease-fire would take place in the "whole of the Gaza Strip" from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

The spokesman further said it would allow people in Gaza to "get medical attention, get supplies... whatever they need".

The Israeli government also announced that it would open a humanitarian aide corridor, adding that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been informed about the decision.

The announcements followed the bloodiest day of the Israeli ground offensive so far. On Tuesday Israeli gunfire struck a UN school in northern Gaza killing at least 40 people and injuring dozens more.

The building has been used as a shelter by hundreds of civilians. The Israeli military said Hamas militants were firing from the school, which triggered the Israeli artillery strike.

UN officials report there were no militants at the school.

The Palestine Red Crescent also talked about five ambulances been hit by Israeli forces, killing six people. The Israeli military said it was unaware of any such incidents.

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