Israel resumes Gaza strikes as Hamas attacks continue

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 23:50

Jerusalem/Gaza: The Israeli army Tuesday resumed air strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip as rockets continued being fired from the coastal enclave despite Israel`s unilateral approval of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal, media reported.

"After six hours of unilateral attacks by Hamas, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has resumed operational activity in the Gaza Strip, " Xinhua quoted an Israeli army statement as saying.

Security officials in Gaza confirmed Israel`s renewed attacks, saying that Israeli war jets and helicopters showered missiles upon several targets in northern Gaza Strip and on eastern, southern and western neighbourhoods of Gaza city.
Medics in Gaza said six Palestinians were killed during predawn airstrikes on houses in southern Gaza Strip, including a woman, an old man and four other men.

Gaza health ministry said in an emailed press statement that the toll since last Tuesday in the Gaza Strip climbed to 192, while around 1,400 people were wounded.

Shortly after the truce deal came into effect Tuesday, about 50 rockets were fired at southern and central Israel, according to a spokesperson of the Israeli army.

After the Islamist organization rejected the Egyptian proposal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the military "to act strongly" against Hamas sites.

Earlier Tuesday, Israel`s security cabinet agreed to an Egyptian ceasefire proposal which would put an end to the eight-day-old Operation Protective Edge.

According to the Egyptian proposal, the ceasefire would start at 9 am Tuesday and last for 48 hours, after which both the parties` officials will discuss the understandings reached in November 2012, after Operation Pillar of Defence.

Hamas, on its part, announced on its website that the ceasefire agreement was a "surrender" and insisted Israel release 56 Palestinians affiliated to the organisation and arrested in an Israeli military operation in the West Bank last month, following the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in an emailed press statement that "Hamas hasn`t received any initiative from anyone and what has been said about demilitarising Hamas and the armed resistance is not negotiable because resistance is a legal right for the occupied people".
Izzat al-Resheq, a senior Hamas official, wrote on his Facebook personal page, that Hamas, Islamic Jihad or any of the Palestinian resistance powers were not invited to discuss or debate the Egyptian initiative.

However, Musan Abu Marzooq, another top Hamas official, said that Hamas was still studying the proposal, adding that "so far Hamas hasn`t issued its official stance."

Operation Protective Edge started a week ago with the Israeli Air Force striking more than 1,500 targets, killing 178 Palestinians and wounding 1,100 of them.

More than 700 rockets and mortars were fired at Israeli communities in the past week throughout south, south central and central Israel, with some rockets hitting the northern city of Haifa, some 130 km north of the Gaza Strip.

IANS

First Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 23:09

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