published Friday, July 25th, 2014

British envoy: Gaza humanitarian pause possible

  • photo
    United Kingdom U.N. Ambassdor Mark Lyall Grant, center, stands alongside Australian U.N. Ambassador Gary Quinlan, center left, following an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the worsening situation in Gaza at United Nations headquarters in this July 21, 2014, photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

UNITED NATIONS — Britain's U.N. ambassador says there may be "an extremely short" humanitarian pause in the conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas on Saturday lasting several hours.

Mark Lyall Grant told reporters Friday that Britain is very disappointed at the failure to reach agreement on a sustainable cease-fire but perhaps a humanitarian pause "will open up a little bit of space to work on a more sustainable cease-fire."

U.S. officials later said Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had agreed to a 12-hour cease-fire in principle, but did not say if it came with a starting time. A Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, said the group agreed to a 12-hour lull, starting at 8 a.m. local time Saturday.

Lyall Grant said key foreign ministers will be meeting in Paris on Saturday "to decide precisely on the next steps."

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