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IDF announces pause to daytime fighting along southern Gaza humanitarian corridor

The Israeli military on Sunday announced that there will be a daily daytime pause of fighting along a humanitarian corridor in southern Gaza. File Photo by Hatem Al-Rawag/UPI
The Israeli military on Sunday announced that there will be a daily daytime pause of fighting along a humanitarian corridor in southern Gaza. File Photo by Hatem Al-Rawag/UPI | License Photo

June 17 (UPI) -- The Israeli military will pause fighting during the day along an important humanitarian corridor in southern Gaza to facilitate aid efforts, the Israel Defense Forces said Sunday as it also warned Hezbollah against further attacking the Middle Eastern Country.

In a statement posted online, the IDF announced "a local, tactical pause of military activity" will be in place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily local time along the road that leads from the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which connects southern Gaza with Israel, north to the European Hospital near Khan Yunis.

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It said the move follows discussions with the United Nations and international organizations.

Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories added that the pause started Saturday.

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Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the U.N. humanitarian affairs office, said in a statement Sunday that they "welcome" the announcement, but cautioned that it has yet to translate into more aid reaching more people.

"We hope this leads to further concrete measures by Israel to address longstanding issues preventing a meaningful humanitarian response in Gaza," Laerke said.

The IDF was quick to add in a Hebrew-language statement published to its X account that the pause was not a cessation in southern Gaza fighting.

"The hostilities in Rafah continue," it said.

Later Sunday, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari warned in a video message that they would respond to Hezbollah's increasing attacks on Israel.

"Israel has a duty to defend the people of Israel," he said. "We will fulfill that duty at all costs."

Israel has been waging war against Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza since the militia attack Israel on Oct. 7. Not long after, Hezbollah, another Iran proxy group, began attacking Israel from Lebanon. The cross-border skirmishes have killed hundreds of militia fighters and their apparent increase in recent intensity has again raised fears of an expanding war.

According to the IDF, Hezbollah has fired more than 5,000 projectiles, including rockets and drones, at Israel over the Lebanese border. Hagari warned Hezbollah's increasing attacks could have "devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region."

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"Hezbollah is jeopardizing the future of Lebanon so it can be a shield for Hamas," he said.

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Local volunteers for the U.S.-based aid group World Central Kitchen prepare food to be distributed to needy Palestinians in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 3, 2024. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

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