Israeli army to resume strikes on Gaza
Published Sunday 27/07/2014 (updated) 27/07/2014 22:58
Israeli soldiers stand on top of a Merkava tank stationed at an army
deployment area along the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip on July
26, 2014 (AFP Gil Cohen-Magen)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army said in a statement early Sunday that it would resume attacks on Gaza by air, land, and sea in response to rocket fire from Gaza militants.
Officials had earlier said Israel would extend Saturday's brief humanitarian ceasefire until Sunday, but that its soldiers would continue searching for and destroying tunnels in the Strip throughout that time.
Hamas and other factions rejected the truce extension, with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine saying it was an attempt to ignore Palestinian demands.
"Ceasefire isn't acceptable without accepting the demands of the resistance," PFLP official Jamil Muzhir said in a statement.
Hamas said in a statement that "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."
An Islamic Jihad official agreed with the response, saying his movement would not commit to any ceasefire that did not guarantee the rights of the Palestinian people.
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Popular Resistance Committees released a similar statement.
Militant groups in Gaza held fire during the agreed-upon humanitarian window, but began firing rockets minutes after it expired at 8:00 p.m on Saturday.
Israeli forces responded by shelling areas in the southern and central Gaza Strip, in addition to killing a man in Deir al-Balah, a Ma'an reporter in Gaza said.
Meanwhile, Israeli media reported that the army had announced the death of an additional soldier, bringing the number of Israeli troops killed in the ground invasion on the Strip to 43.
Three civilians in Israel have also been killed by militant attacks, one of whom was volunteering at a military base when he died.
At least 1,049 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 6,000 injured during Israel's assault on the Strip, some 80 percent of them civilians according to rights groups.
According to the UN agency for children, 192 Palestinian children have been killed during the latest conflict so far.