Jerusalem:  The Israeli military announced that it will hold fire for seven hours Monday in parts of the Gaza Strip to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid and for displaced Palestinians to return to their homes.

The humanitarian truce, beginning at 10 a.m., however, would not apply in areas of the southern Gaza town of Rafah, Xinhua quoted a defence ministry official as saying in a statement.

It also said that Israeli military would respond to any attacks during that time.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Sunday strongly condemned the killing of at least 10 Palestinians in shelling outside of a UN-run school in Gaza, which is offering shelter to thousands of Palestinian civilians, saying that “the attack is yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law”.

The US Statement Department also said Sunday that the US is “appalled” by the “disgraceful” shelling outside a UN school in Gaza that killed at least 10 Palestinian civilians.

“We once again stress that Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties,” spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.

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