TEL AVIV, July 26, /ITAR-TASS/. Israel has agreed to extend a 12-hour humanitarian truce by four hours, until midnight (21.00 GMT), Israeli television says.
The efforts taken by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon helped to extend the ceasefire in Gaza.
Kerry also took part in a meeting of foreign ministers of seven nations in Paris to persuade the conflicting parties to extend the truce.
On July 8, 2014, the Israel Defence Forces announced the start of the operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants. The IDF made strikes on 50 targets in the Gaza Strip, most of which were launching platforms for rockets.
The immediate reason for the operation was that cities in southern Israel were massively shelled by Hamas military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. According to the Israeli army’s press service, on July 7, some 90 missiles were fired on Israel from the Gaza Strip. As of early July, 450 missiles had been fired since the start of 2014.