DEADLY HOSTILITIES HAVE engulfed Gaza again where a 12-year-old boy was killed and Israeli warplanes struck targets in retaliation for dozens of Palestinian cross-border rocket attacks.
It’s exactly one month after Israel launched an air campaign to destroy Hamas rockets and bases. A proposed extension of the 72-hour ceasefire that had been in place while leaders attended talks in Cairo were rejected by Hamas this morning and rockets injured two people in Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the military to strike back “forcefully to the Hamas breach of the ceasefire”.
And so ended a three day lull in a month of fighting which has killed at least 1,894 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side, almost all soldiers. In Gaza, 447 of those who lost their lives were children.
One such child was 12-year-old Ibrahim Al-Dawansa, killed during an air strike today. His grief-stricken family carried his body through the streets for his funeral earlier.
Six other people were injured in the strike near a mosque in the city.
After the ceasefire was broken today, families who had left UN-run schools during the ceasefire, again fled their homes and returned to the shelters.
Hundreds of refugees in Al-Tuffah in Gaza City were seen living in classrooms, hanging laundry off balconies and queueing up for food handouts.
In Israel all gatherings larger than 500 people within 40 kilometres of Gaza have been banned and kindergarten and summer camps can only operate if there is a bomb shelter in the immediate vicinity.
The Israeli army said Palestinian militants fired 33 rockets at the Jewish state, wounding a civilian and a soldier in the south, and that “terror sites” had been targeted in Gaza. “We will continue to strike Hamas, its infrastructure, its operatives and restore security for the State of Israel,” said army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner.
Back home, meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has expressed his “profound regret” at the resumption of hostilities in Gaza.
In a statement this evening, he urged his EU counterparts to “effectively address the underlying causes” of the violence.
The continuing suffering of ordinary people and the humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding in Gaza are totally unacceptable.
- With reporting by AFP.
Explainer: What is happening in Gaza?>