Israel, Gaza militants tenatively agree to break in fighting
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - After more than a week of attacks and a death toll in the hundreds, Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza agree to hit the pause button.
The United Nations requested the five hour break in fighting, so people in Gaza could gather necessities like food and water, without fearing attack.
The Associated Press reports Thursday morning that three mortar shells were fired from Gaza around noon local time (5:00 a.m. eastern time in the U.S.).
This comes after days of intense fighting in the region.
Israel blasted Gaza Wednesday, striking dozens of targets, including the homes of top Hamas leaders.
However, one of the explosions hit a beach and killed four young boys.
Hamas retaliated by firing rockets into Israel.
The death toll after 9 days of fighting is now in the 200s on the Palestinian side, while only one Israeli civilian was killed.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country is doing what it needs to do.
"Israel has to take the actions to defend its citizens, as any normal country would against terrorists who are committing double war crimes," he said.
Meanwhile, President Obama is showing support for both sides and pushing for peace.
"The Israeli people and the Palestinian people don't want to live like this," he said. "They deserve to live in peace and security, free from fear."
The Israeli military says that more than a dozen terrorists from Gaza used an underground tunnel built by Hamas to enter the country Thursday morning, but Israeli forces foiled the attempted terror attack when they fired at the suspects and bombed the tunnel.
It's not clear whether Israeli military will respond to the mortar attack in Gaza.
Officials did say if anyone launched an attack during the 5-hour cease fire, they would respond "firmly and decisively."