A small pause in Gaza while working on a full ceasefire

U-S Secretary of State John Kerry says more work is needed to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas for a seven-day truce in the Gaza war.

Britiain's UN ambassador, however, says there'll be a humanitarian pause of several hours in the Gaza conflict.

Word has it it'll start at 1 am eastern on Saturday and last 12 hours.

Israel's defence minister, meantime, has warned the military may soon broaden its ground operation "significantly.''

The tough statement by Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, coupled with Kerry's inability to broker even a temporary cease-fire after a week of shuttling around the region, signals the fighting is likely to drag on.

More than 820 Palestinians and 38 people in Israel have been killed so far.

Yaalon has said ``Hamas is paying a very heavy price'' and at the end of the operation, ``Hamas will have to think very hard if it is worth it to taunt us in the future.''

Israel has said a key objective of its ground operation is to destroy Hamas military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border.

For days, Kerry has been moving between the Egyptian capital, the West Bank and Jerusalem and talking to officials from Qatar, which is in contact with Hamas.

But the most Kerry seemed to have won so far was a willingness from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to consider a far less ambitious 12-hour halt in fighting, proposed by U-N chief Ban Ki-moon.

But Kerry insists the parties are closer than ever to an agreement for a seven-day "humanitarian'' truce to start with the Muslim Eid holiday on Monday, ending the holy month of Ramadan.

He says there is a general agreement on the ``concept'' of a truce but that both sides had concerns over details of carrying it out.

Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here. You DO NOT need to be a member to comment.

Share this article:

News Videos

Latest News