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Israeli airstrikes kill three in Gaza, rockets fired at Israel as ceasefire breaks down

After nearly a week of intense ceasefire negotiations, the truce between Israel and Hamas broke down Tuesday afternoon. At approximately 3:45 p.m. two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip exploded near Be’er Sheva, prompting Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya’alon to order the Israeli military to respond, while also calling on the Israeli delegation to negotiations in Cairo to return to Israel.

The Israeli Air Force struck targets across Gaza Tuesday, killing a three-year-old girl and an unidentified woman after Israeli missiles hit the al-Dalou family home in Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood. Palestinians fled their homes in Khan Younis to the south of the Gaza Strip, Beit Hanoun to the north, and from the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City. According to Ma’an News Agency, ambulance crews and medics were searching for bodies among the rubble of the three-story home, which was reportedly hit by five missiles. Twelve Palestinians were killed in 2012 when Israel targeted the same home during Operation Pillar of Defense.

According to Reuters, Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzuk said Tuesday night that the strike on the al-Dalou home was an attempt to assassinate Muhammad Deif, the head of the Al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza.

Destruction in Beit Hanoun following bombardment by Israeli forces, North Gaza Strip, August 11, 2014.  (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Destruction in Beit Hanoun following bombardment by Israeli forces, North Gaza Strip, August 11, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Meanwhile, rockets fired from the Strip exploded in both southern Israel and the Tel Aviv area throughout the afternoon and evening.

According to Haaretz, a top Israeli official said that the collapse of the truce talks in Cairo followed two days of intensive negotiations. According to the official, the gaps between the sides remained significant, and the Egyptian efforts were only meant to delay the inevitable breakdown. Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman in Gaza Sami Abu Zuhri denied the group had fired the rockets at Israeli territory, accusing Israel of trying to sabotage truce talks in Cairo. “Israel’s foot-dragging proves it has no will to reach a truce deal,” said Abu Zuhri, adding that “the Palestinian factions are ready for any scenario.”

Operation Protective Edge has so far claimed over 2,000 Palestinian lives and 67 Israeli lives, the vast majority of whom were soldiers killed during the ground invasion of Gaza.

Gaza dispatch: Why the people support Hamas
‘Ending the siege is not a Hamas demand – it is a Palestinian one’

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    1. Pedro X

      Here is Israel’s message to Gaza’s terrorists. If you attack Israel and try to kill Israelis, Israel will attack and kill you.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Doubtful

      You would be far more honest if you were to acknowledge the notion that “If you attack Israel and try to kill Israelis, Israel will attack” you family and wipe it out.

      Mother and child, killed, for no other reason than to send this dude a message.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Pedro X

      Hamas leaders are in hiding. Deif and his family left their house and went into hiding in another area of Gaza. Israel found where Deif’s hideout was and bombed it to kill Deif.

      Those who live with war criminals and terrorists have no immunity from being killed.

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        And that applies to both sides – Bibi as well as the Gazan leadership.

        Reply to Comment
        • bar

          Interesting. So an elected government official of a western democracy trying to defend itself from a group explicitly calling for that state’s destruction is equivalent to an unelected terrorist from a thug group that kills its own.

          You live in a strange universe.

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Nope, that is not the equivalence I was implying. Read this sentence again:

            “Those who live with war criminals and terrorists have no immunity from being killed”

            and then, plug that in to my remark about that applying that standard to Bibi as well as the Gazan leadership.

            Result? No Israeli has immunity from being killed since the state terrorism of Bibi and his government has produced war crimes.

            Reply to Comment
    4. bar

      The author of this piece wrote an interesting first paragraph. The truce wasn’t magically broken and it wasn’t broken by both sides. Accurate reporting would have stated that the truce was violated by Palestinians firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian centers. A little more openness would have had the author add that this is the 7th violation of a cease fire by the Palestinians since July 8th when this conflict began – including one cease fire the would have prevented the ground war.

      Reply to Comment