Palestinians and Israelis got a respite from bombs today as a 12-hour truce actually held for the full 12 hours. But the quiet appears to be over, with Israel reporting three rockets fired from Gaza, reports AP. Just before the ceasefire expired at 8pm local time (1pm EDT), Israel agreed to extend it for another four hours, but Hamas rejected the idea, reports the Jerusalem Post. Earlier today, families in Gaza emerged from shelters during the 12-hour lull to survey damage, bury their dead, and stock up on supplies. Palestinian authorities announced that the death toll there had exceeded 1,000 in 19 days of bombing, reports the New York Times.
Among the new victims were at least 18 members of a single family killed in an airstrike just before the truce got underway, reports Reuters. Five more Israeli soldiers also were killed, bring the army's death to 37, in addition to two civilians and a laborer from Thailand killed by bombs launched from Gaza. In Paris, meanwhile, John Kerry and other diplomats worked on a longer-term fix. In a statement, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, "All of us want to obtain, as quickly as possible, a durable, negotiated ceasefire that responds both to Israeli needs in terms of security and to Palestinian needs in terms of the social-economic development (of Gaza) and access to the territory of Gaza." (Read more Israel and Palestinians stories.)