Humanitarian ceasefire reportedly violated by Gazan militants

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Robert Serry. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Authorities in Israel have reported a "serious incident" to the UN Special Envoy for the Middle East that took place early Friday morning before the start of the humanitarian ceasefire.

All parties in the conflict had agreed to observe an unconditional 72-hour lull in the fighting from 8 am local time onwards.

In a statement released by his Spokesperson, Mr Robert Serry said the incident involved a tunnel behind the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) lines in the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip.

Two soldiers were reportedly killed, as well as a number of Palestinians.

The United Nations is not in a position to independently confirm these reports, the statement reads.

However, if corroborated, the incident would constitute a serious violation of the truce by Gazan militant factions, which would be condemned in the strongest terms.

Mr. Serry urged the Palestinian parties to urgently reaffirm their commitment to the humanitarian ceasefire.

He also expressed deep concern regarding the serious consequences on the ground that could arise as a result of this incident.

The UN envoy said he'll pursue efforts to contain the violence and the risk of renewed escalation.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1'16''

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