Gazans pass somber Eid al-Adha on the brink of famine

Gaza saw its first day of relative calm in months Sunday, after Israel's military said it would "pause" fighting daily around a southern route to facilitate aid flows, following repeated U.N. warnings of famine in the Palestinian territory.

"Compared with the previous days, today, the first day of Eid al-Adha, is considered near calm and the calm has prevailed across all of Gaza," Mahmud Basal, spokesman for the civil defense agency in Hamas-ruled Gaza, told AFP.

He said the exceptions included "some targeting" in Gaza City's Shujaiya and Zeitun areas, as well as Israeli artillery fire in Rafah, southern Gaza.

AFP correspondents in Gaza's north and centre reported no fighting on Sunday morning, though they reported some shelling and at least one strike in Rafah and an air strike in central Gaza during the early evening.

Children were among the wounded and killed from that strike on Bureij refugee camp, AFP images showed. A medic rapidly pounded the chest of one patient, attempting resuscitation, as an ambulance arrived at hospital in Deir al-Balah city.

The military stressed in a statement there was "no cessation of hostilities in the southern Gaza Strip", and said one soldier died Sunday during fighting in the territory's south.

The announcement of a "local, tactical pause of military activity" during daylight hours in an area of Rafah came a day after eight Israeli soldiers were killed in a blast near the far-southern city and three more troops died elsewhere.

It was one of the heaviest losses for the army in more than eight months of war against Hamas.

  'Sudden calm'

"Since this morning, we've felt a sudden calm with no gunfire or bombings... It's strange," said Haitham al-Ghura,...

Continue reading on: