Israel announces 'pause' to Gaza assault in unexpected announcement

Israel announces 'pause' to Gaza assault in unexpected announcement

WATCH: UN chief invokes Article 99 to urge Security Council avert humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 09/01/2024

- 08:28

Updated: 09/01/2024

- 09:48

It said the pause is for "humanitarian purposes"

Israel says it will briefly pause military activities in part of central Gaza today to allow humanitarian supplies to come through.

The military's spokesman for the Arabic media Avichay Adraee said: "[There will be a] local and temporary tactical suspension of military activities for humanitarian purposes in the south-east of Deir al-Balah".

The pause will run from 10am local time (8am GMT) until 2pm (12pm GMT) "for the purposes of supply".

It comes as official Palestinian news agency Wafa said Israel carried out airstrikes in central and southern areas, including around the Maghazi and Al-Bureij camps.

The ruins of a city in Gaza

Israeli soldiers operate amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza


According to Gaza's health ministry, Israel's air and ground assault on Gaza in response to the October 7 attacks has killed more than 23,000 Palestinians.

Thousands more are believed to be buried under the rubble in Gaza while tens of thousands have been wounded.

It comes as one charity said more than 10 children on average have lost one or both of their legs every day in Gaza since the October 7 attacks, with many amputations performed without anaesthesia.

Save the Children’s director for Gaza Jason Lee, said: "The suffering of children in this conflict is unimaginable and even more so because it is unnecessary and completely avoidable. The killing and maiming of children is condemned as a grave violation against children, and perpetrators must be held to account."


Smoke in Gaza

Smoke rising over the Gaza Strip as seen from the Israeli side of the border on January 8, 2024 in Southern Israel.


Israel has said it is targeting terrorists and their infrastructure, and is trying to minimise civilian deaths.

Reuters reports that sirens went off in Tel Aviv and other cities in central Israel yesterday, sending residents running for shelter and Hamas in Gaza said it had fired a barrage of rockets.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to discuss the "way forward" in Israel's war in Gaza as he meets with leaders later today, including Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a televised meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz Blinken said: "I know of your own efforts, over many years, to build much greater connectivity and integration in the Middle East, and I think there are actually real opportunities there.

"But we have to get through this very challenging moment and ensure that October 7 can never happen again and work to build a much different and much better future."

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Avichay Adraee said, over the last 24 hours, IDF troops moved "deep" into Khan Younis in the south and "eliminated 40 terrorists".

He added that "various combat means and pivotal tunnel openings were found".

In the Maghazi area of central Gaza, he says the IDF spotted "saboteurs" and directed a plane which "attacked and eliminated" them.

Adraee added that Israeli naval forces attacked military sites, warehouses and naval vehicles used by Hamas in Gaza.

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