Israel resumes Gaza raids by land, sea and air

An explosion during an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip is pictured from the Israeli border with Gaza, early morning July 26, 2014.

An explosion during an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip is pictured from the Israeli border with Gaza, early morning July 26, 2014.

The Israeli army announced Sunday it is resuming its raids on Gaza by land, sea and air after Hamas continued firing rockets, ending a unilateral 12-hour humanitarian truce, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip,” an army statement said.

“Due to flagrant violations of humanitarian remission by Hamas, the IDF is now resuming offensive activities,” army spokesman Peter Lerner wrote on Twitter.

Following the announcement, three Palestinians were killed in shelling and explosions could be heard in Gaza City, medics said.

Two men were killed in shelling near the border in central Gaza, while a third was killed near Khan Yunis in the south, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

More than 1,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict 20 days ago.

Hamas rejection

The Israeli military resumed its assault on Gaza after Hamas rejected Israel’s decision to extend by 24 hours a pause in hostilities in Gaza, saying Israeli tanks first had to withdraw from the territory.

“No humanitarian ceasefire is valid without Israeli tanks withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and without residents being able to return to their homes and ambulances carrying bodies being able to freely move around in Gaza,” Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse.

Following the rejection of Hamas, air raids sirens sounded in southern and central Israel warning of incoming rocket fire, according to Reuters news agency.

Israeli media reported a couple of the rockets landed in open areas and another was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

An Israeli soldier was killed by shell fire near the Gaza Strip, taking to 43 the number of troops killed since the start of ground operations on July 8, an army spokeswoman said, according to AFP.

“The soldier was killed by a shell that was fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory,” she said.

 
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