1. FIRST STEP

    Israel-Hamas Agree to Pause in Fighting

    Reuters

    Israel and Hamas have agreed to a five-hour "humanitarian" pause. Earlier on Wednesday, Israel declared it would halt fire in agreement with a United Nations-backed plan. Subsequently, Hamas consented to it, as well. It is the most encouraging sign since violence broke out in the region on July 8. The agreement caps of a bloody and upsetting day. Four Palestinian children were killed on a beach in Gaza. Israel said it is investigating the deaths and has blamed Hamas' tactic of using human shields and hiding rockets in crowded public places.

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