Israel made good on its promise to grant Gazans a brief window of calm to look for food amid the shattered ruins of their cities, stopping their attacks for a three hour period in the early afternoon before resuming their invasion in earnest.
During the brief respite, 80 trucks of supplies were allowed in, and long lines were reported at Gaza’s bakeries and grocery stores. Medics also used the opportunity, scrambling to retrieve the bodies of the dead and dying from parts of Gaza’s cities that the continued military attacks had long prevented them from reaching.
Yet the all-too-brief pause left as soon as it came, and clashes were reported throughout Gaza City in pretty short order. Just 30 minutes after the three hour time limit expired, Israeli forces also killed two Gazans in Zeitun neighborhood.
How long Gazans will have to wait before their next opportunity to leave their houses or eat remains to be seen. Though the army had initially said it would allow the pauses “every day starting today,” military spokesman Peter Lerner said only that a future pause “would be considered in the coming days.” Egypt’s continued efforts to secure an actual ceasefire may soon render the question moot, and grant Gazans more than a mere three hours of relative normality.