Johannesburg - The ANC on Sunday welcomed Hamas's acceptance of a 24-hour humanitarian truce between Israel and Palestine.

“It is our hope that all parties... will heed the call for a military ceasefire in pursuit of a peaceful environment conducive to negotiations,” African National Congress spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

“The ANC is encouraged by the efforts of the United Nations at an intervention to end the senseless loss of life in the region. We continue to call for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and for all parties to commit themselves to the resumption of negotiations.”

The Associated Press on Sunday reported that Hamas agreed to observe the 24-hour truce ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of Ramadan. Hamas had initially rejected the truce.

AP reported that the 20-day war has claimed the lives of more 1 050 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to health officials. More than 40 people have been killed in Israel.

Earlier, the agency reported that about a dozen rockets were fired toward Israel since midnight. - Sapa