Israeli soldiers stand guard outside the southern Gaza Strip, as smoke is seen in Gaza, before the start of a five-hour ceasefire on July 17, 2014. Picture: Ronen Zvulun

Jerusalem - Three mortars struck southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip on Thursday, a couple of hours after a temporary ceasefire was supposed to take effect, the Israeli military said.

The mortars landed in open areas, causing no injuries or damage, the Israeli military said.

There were no reports of Israeli retaliation.

There was no claim of responsibility in Gaza for the mortar fire.

The five-hour truce took effect at 07h00 GMT on Thursday.

The break in 10 days of fighting was requested by the United Nations to allow residents of the Gaza strip, ruled by the Hamas group viewed by Israel as terrorists, to gather supplies and repair some of the infrastructure damaged.

At least 224 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed, Gaza health officials say.

In Israel, one civilian has been killed by fire from Gaza, where the Israeli military says more than 1 300 rockets have been launched into the Jewish state in strikes that have made a race to shelters a routine for hundreds of thousands of people. - Reuters