6:03 p.m: Well, after rejecting Israel's first, four-hour ceasefire extension just hours ago, it turns out Hamas isn't much interested in another day of quiet. Following the announcement that Israel was extending the U.N.-advocated ceasefire until late on Sunday, Hamas said no.
#BREAKING Hamas rejects Israel's 24-hour extension of Gaza ceasefire: spokesman— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) July 26, 2014
This news comes as Israeli troops continue to work to destroy a network of tunnels found leading into Israel from Gaza.
5:33 p.m.: According to the AP, Israel has decided to extend its humanitarian ceasefire for another 24 hours until late on Sunday. As we noted earlier, the decision came at the urging of the United Nations. There is, of course, one pretty big stipulation, namely, that "troops will respond to any fire from Gaza."
This would be fourth and longest ceasefire of the 19-day battle between Israel and Hamas, along with other terror groups in Gaza. This daylong extension comes after a twelve-hour truce was extended for four hours by Israel earlier today. Hamas resumed rocket fire upon Israel during that time, seriously injuring one man in Israel.
No reaction in #Gaza to news about extending ceasefire for 24 hours. No cars on streets— Fares Akram (@faresakram) July 26, 2014
In other news, a Palestinian teenager was killed during a riot in the West Bank, two more Israeli soldiers died from wounds sustained earlier this week, and the Palestinian death toll, which includes potentially hundreds of Hamas fighters, passed 1000 as bodies were recovered during the ceasefire.
3:44 p.m.: Hamas has reportedly claimed responsibility for resuming rocket fire on Israel. According to reports, Israel says it will honor the four-hour extension of the humanitarian ceasefire, which Hamas rejected.
3:06 p.m.: This explains it:
BREAKING: Hamas official says group rejects Israel's proposed four-hour extension of Gaza war truce— The Associated Press (@AP) July 26, 2014
No word yet if Israel has commenced its operations against Hamas yet.
Minutes after a twelve-hour humanitarian ceasefire between was extended by Israel, four mortars crashed into southern Israel from Gaza, threatening to upend the fragile truce. As Haaretz reported:
Rocket sirens sound in south, after Israel agrees to extend pause.
Citing Israel's Channel 2, the Times of Israel gave some context:
According to Channel 2, the IDF says it might not be an intentional violation of the truce, but a lone terror cell acting without orders from Hamas’s central command.
The initial pause came as the death toll in the conflict neared 1000 on the Palestinian side, although it remains unclear how many of those killed are Hamas combatants. Forty soldiers and a few civilians have been killed in the 19-day conflict on the Israeli side.
The four-hour extension of the humanitarian truce is a temporary salve as United Nations envoy Robert Serry, who helped produce previous ceasefires, pushes for another full day of quiet between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry calls for at least another 24 hours extension of humanitarian ceasefire until tomorrow at 20:00 PM— Gal Berger (@galberger) July 26, 2014
Elsewhere, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Turkish and Qatari counterparts as proposals continue to be shaped in the hopes of yielding a long-term ceasefire.