Residents in Gaza are using a 12-hour humanitarian truce to return to their homes, gather essential supplies and search for those trapped in the rubble. At least 85 bodies have been pulled from the rubble during the truce, a Palestinian health official says, the spokesman said. Thirty-nine Israelis have died. International talks on a longer truce have resumed in Paris.
Israel said it would continue to “locate and neutralise” Hamas tunnels during the pause, which began at 08:00 local time (05:00 GMT).
So far 31 tunnels have been discovered, with about half destroyed, Israeli’s military says.
The Iron Dome defence system intercepted three rockets fired towards the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon overnight.
In the district of Shejaiya, residents started flooding back from 08:00, despite warnings not to do so.
The scene here is just astonishing – the most widespread destruction: buildings completely pulverised, cars thrown 50m (160ft) into the air on top of buildings, the facades of some block of flats completely ripped off.
The air is pretty thick with the stench of death as people try to recover bodies and belongings.
In the background I can hear a crackle of gunfire. Although a humanitarian ceasefire is in place, clearly people are still shooting. There is an Israeli drone flying overhead, and we’ve heard the sound of fighter jets.
‘Confident of ceasefire’
US Secretary of State John Kerry met the foreign ministers of Turkey, Qatar and some European countries in Paris on Saturday in the hopes of agreeing a longer ceasefire.
“We all call on parties to extend the humanitarian ceasefire,” France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters.
“We all want to obtain a lasting ceasefire as quickly as possible that addresses both Israeli requirements in terms of security and Palestinian requirements in terms of socio-economic development.”
Mr Kerry spent a week in the Middle East attempting to broker a deal before leaving Egypt on Friday.
Government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel was ultimately seeking “peace and quiet”
Hamas insists that any ceasefire should include a lifting of the blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel and Egypt since 2007.
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel “appreciated” Mr Kerry’s continued efforts, and that Israel wanted “peace and quiet”.
“The people of Gaza are not our enemy, our enemy are the people shooting those rockets into Israeli cities,” Mr Regev told the BBC.
Israel is reported to want to continue operations against Hamas infiltration tunnels once direct conflict ends.
The 12-hour truce was agreed overnight, although the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) vowed to respond if attacked.
The truce came shortly after Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon warned that ground operations in Gaza could soon be broadened “significantly”.