Israel, Hamas start first truce in Gaza war

Israel and Hamas entered a four-day ceasefire on Friday with the Palestinian militants set to release a first group of hostages later in the day and increased aid to flow into the besieged Gaza Strip.

The truce’s scheduled start was 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and marked the first pause in a nearly seven-week-old war.

A number of Palestinians are expected to be released from Israeli jails later in the day as part of the ceasefire.

Blasts were heard in the final hours and minutes leading up to the ceasefire and smoke could be seen billowing over the Israel-Gaza border skyline.