The 72-hour humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas was over within hours, with 25 Palestinians killed in southern Gaza.
The truce was designed to give civilians in Gaza time to bury their loved ones and inspect their homes.
However, 25 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli shelling of southern Gaza, and Israel has said that they have informed UN envoy Robert Serry that the humanitarian ceasefire is over, blaming Hamas for failing to stop their rocket attacks on Israel.
Announcing the end of the truce on Twitter, the IDF said on Twitter:
“This morning, Hamas fired at our forces in S. Gaza in violation of a ceasefire. We suspect that an IDF soldier was kidnapped moments later.”
In announcing the truce, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry had stressed that it was for humanitarian purposes, saying in a statement:
“This humanitarian ceasefire will commence at 8 am local time on Friday, August 1, 2014. It will last for a period of 72 hours unless extended. During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place.
“We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire.
“This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence. During this period, civilians in Gaza will receive urgently needed humanitarian relief, and the opportunity to carry out vital functions, including burying the dead, taking care of the injured and restocking food supplies. Overdue repairs on essential water and energy infrastructure could also continue during this period.”
Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay strongly condemned the 30 July shelling by Israeli military forces of a UN school in Gaza sheltering people fleeing the violence, as well as other attacks on schools, hospitals, places of worship and vital infrastructure such as Gaza’s only electric power plant.
In a statement, she said:
“Under international law, humanitarian relief personnel and objects used for relief operations – this would include UNRWA schools in Gaza being used as shelters – must be respected and protected. An attack against humanitarian relief personnel and objects used exclusively for relief operations, is a violation of international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime.”
1,460 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 63 Israelis, mostly mostly soldiers, have died in the three week conflict.
Hamas has said that they will not agree to a peace deal until Israel ends the seven-year blockade of Gaza, while Israel says its military bombardment of the area is to prevent rocket attacks by Palestinian militants.