• Thursday, October 02, 2014

Gaza air strikes 'kill 5' as rockets hit Israel

1,960 people died so far

BBC Online
A Palestinian boy is held by his father looking at the remains of house, which witnesses said was hit by an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 9, 2014. Photo: Reuters
A Palestinian boy is held by his father looking at the remains of house, which witnesses said was hit by an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 9, 2014. Photo: Reuters

Five people have been killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza, health officials there say, as Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets at Israel.

Violence resumed after the end of a three-day ceasefire on Friday.

Tensions have also been growing in the West Bank where protesters have clashed with Israeli troops. Reports say two Palestinians have been shot dead, one on Friday and one on Saturday.

At least 1,960 people have died since violence erupted in Gaza in early July.

More than 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed, according to the UN.

Sixty-seven people have died on the Israeli side, including three civilians.

Israel said it renewed its military offensive soon after the truce lapsed in response to rocket fire by the Hamas militant group, which dominates Gaza.

MOSQUE ATTACKED

On Saturday, the bodies of three Palestinians were pulled from the wreckage of a mosque in Gaza, local officials said.

Two more people died when their motorcycle was bombed, the authorities added.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) earlier said it had struck 33 sites in Gaza on Saturday, while six rockets had hit southern Israel.

More than 70 rockets have been fired from Gaza since the end of the ceasefire, according to the IDF.

The conflict has also caused tensions in the West Bank, the territory governed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement.

A Palestinian man died of a gunshot wound during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers in the city of Hebron, health officials said on Saturday.

Earlier, Israeli military officials confirmed that troops had killed a Palestinian man on Friday at a protest near a Jewish settlement outside the town of Ramallah.

The US and United Nations have condemned the fresh outbreak of violence in Gaza, urging the two sides to cease hostilities.

The fighting resumed after Israeli and Palestinian representatives failed to agree a long-term truce at indirect talks in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Hamas says the major sticking point in negotiations is Israel's refusal to lift the blockade on Gaza, in place since 2007.

It is also seeking the release of about 100 people released in 2011 in a prisoner exchange deal but re-arrested in the past six weeks.

Hamas rejected Israel's call for the demilitarisation of Gaza.

However, the group said the Palestinian factions were willing to continue the talks despite the fresh violence, and a Palestinian delegation met Egyptian mediators in Cairo late on Friday.

But Israeli officials, who have pulled out of talks, said they would not "negotiate under fire".

Senior Palestinian official Mustafa Barghouti told the BBC on Friday that rocket fire into Israel had come from other Palestinian factions, and not from Hamas.

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July with the stated aim of halting rocket fire from militants in Gaza and destroying the network of tunnels it said were used by militants to launch attacks inside Israel.

Published: 12:01 am Saturday, August 09, 2014

Last modified: 9:49 pm Saturday, August 09, 2014

TAGS: Israel Palestine Gaza crisis Gaza conflict Israeli strike

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