Palestinian dead in Gaza tops 1,000

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Israeli tanks continued to patrol southern Gaza on Saturday despite a 12-hour truce to halt fighting.

The pause in violence is the only tangible result so far to a halt in the hostilities, although Israeli officials have reportedly hinted at extending the temporary ceasefire.

The scale of the destruction meted out on Gaza has been massive. Pulverised last Sunday by Israel’s military machine, little remains of Shejaiya, a neighbourhood of Gaza City.

The lull in violence has enabled some Gazans to search for loved ones and grab what remains of their belongings if the fighting resumes.

Local officials say at least 85 people have been pulled out of the rubble since the truce began, bringing the total number of Palestinian dead to more than 1,000. More than 40 Israelis have so far died in the conflict.

Meanwhile, efforts to find a more permanent peace continue. Earlier on Saturday, foreign ministers from several EU countries, the US, Turkey and Qatar met in Paris to pressure both sides to extend the ceasefire.

France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: “All of us want to achieve, as quickly as possible, a lasting negotiated ceasefire, which meets Israel’s security needs and the needs of the Palestinians, in terms of economic and social development, and access to the Gaza territory.”

That push for a more lasting ceasefire, spearheaded by the US, is still far from certain.

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