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Israeli airstrikes resume after 72-hour ceasefire expires

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Palestinian factions say Israel has not accepted their demands; Israeli airstrikes continue to target Gaza while Palestinian rockets fire into southern Israel

Israel launched a number of airstrikes in Gaza after the 72-hour ceasefire brokered in Egypt expired Friday morning, killing a 10-year old Palestinian boy and wounding several others, spokesperson for the Gaza Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said.

“In response to the renewal of rocket fire by Gaza terrorists at Israel, we are striking terror sites in Gaza,” said the IDF spokesperson.

The spokesperson also said that “Since 8.00am, over 18 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel. Two were intercepted above Ashkelon, 14 hit open areas and two landed in Gaza.”

Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committee, and Fatah’s al-Asifah military wing claimed responsibility for the rockets.

The ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian factions,  brokered in Cairo, ended after Palestinian factions said Israel was refusing their ceasefire demands.

Palestinian demands include ending Israel and Egypt’s eight-year siege on the Gaza Strip, the re-opening of a seaport and airport in the strip, releasing detained Palestinians, and creating a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Al-Qassam brigades, the military-wing of Hamas, said in a statement released on Thursday that they are”ready to start the battle once again,” if Israel does not heed to the demands of the Palestinian factions.

“We will put the occupation forces in front of challenging choices,” the statement read. ”We will either put [Israel] in a long war of attrition, disrupt flights in the Ben Gurion airport for months and destroy its economy, or drag it into a wide scale ground offensive to defeat its military.”

Meanwhile, Al-Qidra said Israeli airstrikes killed 10-year-old Ibrahim Zuheir al-Dawawseh and injured five others, as they targeted Al-Noor mosque in northern Gaza. Airstrikes injured more than six others across Gaza City, Rafah, Jabaliya, and northern Gaza.

This brings up the number of Palestinians killed to 1,893, and 9,805 wounded since Israel began its offensive, Operation Protective Edge, 33 days ago.  At least 489 of the Palestinians killed are children, according to the UN figures.

Gaza resident Islam Zendeh described the humanitarian situation inside the strip as “miserable”, and Ma’anreported that the Israeli offensive caused $150m of damage to Gaza’s food industry as Israel targeted a number of food factories.

 


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