Israel Palestine Conflict

Israel says it stopped firing for many hours in northern Gaza to help civilians leave

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Israel stopped firing in northern Gaza for several hours two days in a row to create safe passage for civilians to move to the south, a military spokesperson told CNN on Sunday, amid pressure for a humanitarian pause.

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“Yesterday and today, for many hours with prior notice and warning, we facilitated, we stopped firing in certain areas of northern Gaza, which is the main combat area, and we called on Palestinians to move south,” Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said.

Israel launched a massive bombing campaign after the Palestinian militant group Hamas staged the worst attack in the country’s history.

In the October 7 attack, Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and took more than 240 others hostage.

The health ministry in Gaza, which Hamas runs, says more than 9,770 people, many of them women and children, have been killed in Israeli strikes and the intensifying ground campaign since the war began.

Israel has resisted calls for a halt in the fighting, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken touring the region, calling for “pauses” while rejecting Arab countries’ demands for a ceasefire.

Israel pounded Gaza with “significant” strikes Monday as soldiers battled Hamas forces in the besieged territory, ignoring ceasefire calls by UN aid agencies who condemned surging civilian deaths in the month-long conflict.

Israeli troops and Hamas fighters engaged in house-to-house combat in densely populated Gaza, where the war has sent 1.5 million people fleeing to other parts of the territory in a desperate search for cover.

Shortly before the latest strikes, internet and telephone lines were cut, Hagari said, adding that the strikes would continue in the days to come.

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