There were no major reports of bombings, artillery strikes or rocket attacks as Israel and Hamas started a four-day cease-fire in Gaza on Friday, the first pause in a 48-day-old war that has devastated the Palestinian enclave.

The truce began at 7 a.m. local time, involving a comprehensive cease-fire in north and south Gaza, the release of 13 Israeli women and child hostages by the militants later in the day and aid to flow into the besieged territory. A number of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons were to be freed in exchange.

A correspondent near the northern part of Gaza heard no Israeli air force activity overhead, and saw no tell-tale contrails typically left by Palestinian rocket launches.