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Israel, Hamas resume hostilities after 3-day Gaza truce

AFP | Last Updated: Saturday, August 9, 2014 - 03:18

Gaza: Israel resumed air strikes on Gaza killing five Palestinians in retaliation to a barrage of rockets fired by Hamas, as talks in Cairo for a durable truce collapsed after a 72-hour ceasefire ended.

Gaza-based militants fired first after the temporary truce expired at 8 am (local time), launching rockets towards
Israel and marking the resumption of the devastating
month-long conflict.

The violence ended the three-day lull in fighting between Israel and Hamas that has killed at least 1,898 Palestinians
and 67 people in Israel, almost all soldiers, since July 8.

Five Palestinians were killed including a 10-year-old boy,
and at least 31 others wounded in Israeli air strikes, said
Ashraf al-Qudra, Gaza`s emergency services spokesman.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli
military to retaliate after the rocket attacks as the army
said 51 air strikes were carried out across Gaza.

The IDF said 40 rockets were fired at Israel. The military said its Iron Dome missile shield had intercepted three rockets, while the remaining ones fell on open ground.

"The Israeli prime minister and defence minister have ordered the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) to retaliate forcefully to the Hamas breach of the ceasefire," an official
said in a statement.

Thousands of Palestinians who had returned to their houses again took refuge at UN shelters.

"The moment it dawned upon people this morning that there was no chance of a long-term ceasefire agreement they started leaving their houses, especially in the eastern part of Gaza.
Some of them whose houses had been destroyed in bombings earlier and had pitched tents also returned to our
facilities," a UN worker in Gaza said.

IDF retaliated strongly to rocket fire by Gaza militants
calling the unprovoked attacks "unacceptable, intolerable and

Israeli jets struck multiple targets across the Gaza Strip, following the barrage of rocket attacks in which two people, including a soldier, were injured.

A ten-year old Palestinian boy was killed and five others injured in an Israeli air strike on a mosque in the Sheikh al-Radwan neighbourhood of Gaza City. Six other Palestinians were injured across Gaza.

UN figures indicate that 73 per cent of the Palestinian
victims, or 1,354 people, were civilians. At least 429 of
those civilians were children, it said.

Fire from Israeli tanks and gunboats was also reported
from northern and central Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel pulled out of talks in Cairo, officials
and medics said.

"Israel will not negotiate under fire," an official said.

Hamas said Israel had failed to meet its key demands,including the lifting of the blockade of Gaza, the release of prisoners and the end of the Israeli offensive.

First Published: Saturday, August 9, 2014 - 03:18

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