Jerusalem: Israel plans to halt military operations for three hours a day near the city of Gaza to enable aid to flow through a humanitarian corridor it is setting up in the Hamas-ruled territory, a military source said on Wednesday.
“The idea is for the Israeli military to lay down its weapons every day from 1pm to 4pm, starting on Wednesday,in the area of the city of Gaza,” the source said.
Palestinian officials in the Gaza Strip said they had been informed by Israel that it would stop its attacks during that time period to allow shops to open and for funerals to take place.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office said earlier a humanitarian corridor was recommended by Israel’s military chiefs and would entail granting periodic access to various areas to allow Palestinians to stock up on vital goods.
Aid agencies have complained of a mounting crisis for the 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli ground forces, which invaded the enclave on Saturday to counter rocket fire by armed Palestinian factions, have bisected the territory and encircled major populated areas.
An Olmert spokesman, Mark Regev, described the measure as a “special status to allow the transfer of people, foodstuffs and medicines” and said it could be implemented on Wednesday.