Sun, Aug 10, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Israel continues attacks on Gaza Strip

NO PROGRESS:Israel bombed Gaza and Palestinian rockets missed their targets, while the parties remain unwilling to speak to each other in Egypt-led truce talks


Israeli security forces, top, watch Palestinian protesters during clashes in the West Bank village of Silwad on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Israel launched more than 20 aerial attacks in Gaza early yesterday and militants fired several rockets at Israel in a second day of violence since a failure to extend an Egyptian-mediated truce that halted a month-long war earlier this week.

The Israeli military said that since midnight it had attacked more than 20 sites in the coastal enclave, where Hamas Islamists are dominant, without specifying the targets.

Medical officials in Gaza said a Palestinian man was killed in one of these bombing, his body found beneath the rubble of one of three mosques that were bombed.

The airstrikes, which lasted through the night, also bombed three houses, and fighter planes strafed open areas, they said.

Gaza militants fired five rockets at towns in Israel’s south yesterday setting off alarm sirens and causing no damage or injuries, an Israeli military spokeswoman said.

Violence also picked up in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian territory where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement holds sway.

A Palestinian man, 43, died of a gunshot wound to the chest after a confrontation with Israeli soldiers in the city of Hebron, medical officials said.

Israeli troops shot and killed another Palestinian man, 20, on Friday at a protest near a Jewish settlement outside Ramallah, Israeli military officials said.

Egypt has made no visible progress toward resuming a 72-hour ceasefire that halted the fighting between Israel and Gaza militants that began on July 8, but was expected to pursue these efforts again yesterday.

The ceasefire expired on Friday with the sides still far apart on the terms for renewing the deal and each side blaming the other for refusing to extend it.

Israel accused Hamas of firing several rockets about four hours before the deal expired at 8am. In all, Gaza militant fired 57 rockets at Israel throughout Friday.

Israel also launched airstrikes in Gaza on Friday, killing five Palestinians, among them a 10-year-old boy near a mosque in Gaza City.

An Islamic Jihad militant and three other Palestinians were killed in the southern Gaza Strip.

Police said two people in Israel were injured by mortar fire from Gaza on Friday.

By resuming attacks against Israel, Gaza militants appeared to be trying to ramp up pressure and making it clear they were ready to fight on to fulfill a goal of ending a blockade of the territory that Israel and Egypt have imposed.

Heavy civilian casualties and destruction during Israel’s campaign against militants in packed residential areas of the Gaza Strip have raised international alarm over the past month, but efforts to prolong a ceasefire at talks in Cairo failed.

Gaza officials say the war has killed 1,881 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Hamas said on Thursday it had executed an unspecified number of Palestinians as Israeli spies.

Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have died in the fighting since July 8, after a surge in Palestinian rocket salvos into Israel.

It expanded its air and naval bombardment of the Gaza Strip into a ground offensive on July 17, and pulled its infantry and armor out of the enclave on Tuesday after saying it had destroyed more than 30 infiltration tunnels dug by militants.

Meanwhile, the White House urged Israel and the Palestinians to do what they could to preserve civilians after having failed to extend their ceasefire.

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