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Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza militants resumed rocket attacks on Israel on Friday, refusing to extend a three-day truce after Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes that killed at least five Palestinians, including three children, Palestinian officials said. Two Israelis were wounded by rocket fire, police said.

The renewed violence threw the Cairo talks on a broader deal into doubt. Hamas officials said they are ready to continue talks, but Israel’s government spokesman said Israel will not negotiate under fire.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed “extreme regret” over the failure to extend the truce, urged restraint by both sides and called for a new cease-fire to resume negotiations. The ministry said progress had been made in the talks, but did not explain.

Later Friday, the Palestinian delegation was to meet again with Egyptian mediators.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “deep disappointment” at the failure to extend the cease-fire and urged the parties to swiftly find a way back to negotiations to reach “a durable cease-fire,” U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.

“The secretary-general firmly calls on the parties not to resort to further military action that can only exacerbate the already appalling humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Haq said. “He condemns the renewed rocket fire towards Israel. More suffering and death of civilians caught up in this conflict is intolerable. “

Hamas wants Israel to open Gaza’s borders, following a seven-year closure also enforced by Egypt, but Israel says it will only do so if the Islamic militants disarm or are prevented from re-arming. Hamas has insisted it will never give up its weapons.

The wide gaps became clear at an all-night meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian negotiators that preceded the renewed fire. Hamas negotiators told The Associated Press that Israel rejected all of their demands.

Hamas had entered the Cairo talks from a position of military weakness, following a month of fighting in which Israel pounded Gaza with close to 5,000 strikes. Israel has said Hamas lost hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rocket arsenal and all of its tunnels under the border with Israel.

The heavy toll of the war appears to have made Hamas even more resistant to returning to the status quo. The group is unlikely to accept a cease-fire without assurances that Gaza’s borders will be opened – particularly after the fighting left more than 1,900 Gaza residents dead, close to 10,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced, with entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

Gaza militants began firing rockets at Israel even before the temporary truce expired at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday.

By late Friday, more than 50 rockets had been fired. Two Israelis were hurt, and one of the rockets hit a home, causing damaging, but no injuries.

The Israeli authorities banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The rockets appeared to have been an attempt by Hamas to exert pressure on Israel without triggering a major escalation. Smaller Gaza groups claimed responsibility, while there was no word from Hamas rocket squads.

However, Israel said it will not negotiate under such terms.

“When Hamas broke the cease-fire, when Hamas launched rockets and mortar shells at Israel, they broke the premise of the talks,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev. “There will not be negotiations under fire.”

The Israeli delegation to the Cairo talks left Egypt on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return.

Israeli aircraft, meanwhile, struck about 40 targets in Gaza, the army said.

Palestinian officials said at least five people were killed in three separate strikes, two of them near mosques. Among the dead were three boys, a 10-year-old and two cousins, aged 12. At least five boys were wounded.

The deaths brought the overall Palestinian toll since July 8 to 1,902, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra.

Another strike hit a house belonging to members of the Zahar clan, one of the largest in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar also belongs to the clan, but the degree of relation to those in the house was not known.

Police said the house was struck without warning, and rescue services later said three women and a 5-year-old boy were injured.

The current round of fighting is the third in just over five years.

The war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8 and sent in ground troops nine days later to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 67 people – including three civilians – were killed in the past month. Much of the country was exposed to fire, with Gaza militants firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites, and estimated at least 40 percent of the dead were militants.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead reconstruction efforts, but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

—–

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem, Edith Lederer at the United Nations and Maggie Michael in Cairo contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza militants resumed rocket attacks on Israel on Friday, refusing to extend a three-day truce after Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes that killed at least five Palestinians, including three children, Palestinian officials said. Two Israelis were wounded by rocket fire, police said.

The renewed violence threw the Cairo talks on a broader deal into doubt. Hamas officials said they are ready to continue talks, but Israel’s government spokesman said Israel will not negotiate under fire.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed “extreme regret” over the failure to extend the truce, urged restraint by both sides and called for a new cease-fire to resume negotiations. The ministry said progress had been made in the talks, but did not explain.

Later Friday, the Palestinian delegation was to meet again with Egyptian mediators.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “deep disappointment” at the failure to extend the cease-fire and urged the parties to swiftly find a way back to negotiations to reach “a durable cease-fire,” U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.

“The secretary-general firmly calls on the parties not to resort to further military action that can only exacerbate the already appalling humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Haq said. “He condemns the renewed rocket fire towards Israel. More suffering and death of civilians caught up in this conflict is intolerable. “

Hamas wants Israel to open Gaza’s borders, following a seven-year closure also enforced by Egypt, but Israel says it will only do so if the Islamic militants disarm or are prevented from re-arming. Hamas has insisted it will never give up its weapons.

The wide gaps became clear at an all-night meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian negotiators that preceded the renewed fire. Hamas negotiators told The Associated Press that Israel rejected all of their demands.

Hamas had entered the Cairo talks from a position of military weakness, following a month of fighting in which Israel pounded Gaza with close to 5,000 strikes. Israel has said Hamas lost hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rocket arsenal and all of its tunnels under the border with Israel.

The heavy toll of the war appears to have made Hamas even more resistant to returning to the status quo. The group is unlikely to accept a cease-fire without assurances that Gaza’s borders will be opened – particularly after the fighting left more than 1,900 Gaza residents dead, close to 10,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced, with entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

Gaza militants began firing rockets at Israel even before the temporary truce expired at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday.

By late Friday, more than 50 rockets had been fired. Two Israelis were hurt, and one of the rockets hit a home, causing damaging, but no injuries.

The Israeli authorities banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The rockets appeared to have been an attempt by Hamas to exert pressure on Israel without triggering a major escalation. Smaller Gaza groups claimed responsibility, while there was no word from Hamas rocket squads.

However, Israel said it will not negotiate under such terms.

“When Hamas broke the cease-fire, when Hamas launched rockets and mortar shells at Israel, they broke the premise of the talks,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev. “There will not be negotiations under fire.”

The Israeli delegation to the Cairo talks left Egypt on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return.

Israeli aircraft, meanwhile, struck about 40 targets in Gaza, the army said.

Palestinian officials said at least five people were killed in three separate strikes, two of them near mosques. Among the dead were three boys, a 10-year-old and two cousins, aged 12. At least five boys were wounded.

The deaths brought the overall Palestinian toll since July 8 to 1,902, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra.

Another strike hit a house belonging to members of the Zahar clan, one of the largest in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar also belongs to the clan, but the degree of relation to those in the house was not known.

Police said the house was struck without warning, and rescue services later said three women and a 5-year-old boy were injured.

The current round of fighting is the third in just over five years.

The war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8 and sent in ground troops nine days later to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 67 people – including three civilians – were killed in the past month. Much of the country was exposed to fire, with Gaza militants firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites, and estimated at least 40 percent of the dead were militants.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead reconstruction efforts, but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

—–

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem, Edith Lederer at the United Nations and Maggie Michael in Cairo contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza militants resumed rocket attacks on Israel on Friday, refusing to extend a three-day truce after Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes that killed at least five Palestinians, including three children, Palestinian officials said. Two Israelis were wounded by rocket fire, police said.

The renewed violence threw the Cairo talks on a broader deal into doubt. Hamas officials said they are ready to continue talks, but Israel’s government spokesman said Israel will not negotiate under fire.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed “extreme regret” over the failure to extend the truce, urged restraint by both sides and called for a new cease-fire to resume negotiations. The ministry said progress had been made in the talks, but did not explain.

Later Friday, the Palestinian delegation was to meet again with Egyptian mediators.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “deep disappointment” at the failure to extend the cease-fire and urged the parties to swiftly find a way back to negotiations to reach “a durable cease-fire,” U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.

“The secretary-general firmly calls on the parties not to resort to further military action that can only exacerbate the already appalling humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Haq said. “He condemns the renewed rocket fire towards Israel. More suffering and death of civilians caught up in this conflict is intolerable. “

Hamas wants Israel to open Gaza’s borders, following a seven-year closure also enforced by Egypt, but Israel says it will only do so if the Islamic militants disarm or are prevented from re-arming. Hamas has insisted it will never give up its weapons.

The wide gaps became clear at an all-night meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian negotiators that preceded the renewed fire. Hamas negotiators told The Associated Press that Israel rejected all of their demands.

Hamas had entered the Cairo talks from a position of military weakness, following a month of fighting in which Israel pounded Gaza with close to 5,000 strikes. Israel has said Hamas lost hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rocket arsenal and all of its tunnels under the border with Israel.

The heavy toll of the war appears to have made Hamas even more resistant to returning to the status quo. The group is unlikely to accept a cease-fire without assurances that Gaza’s borders will be opened – particularly after the fighting left more than 1,900 Gaza residents dead, close to 10,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced, with entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

Gaza militants began firing rockets at Israel even before the temporary truce expired at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday.

By late Friday, more than 50 rockets had been fired. Two Israelis were hurt, and one of the rockets hit a home, causing damaging, but no injuries.

The Israeli authorities banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The rockets appeared to have been an attempt by Hamas to exert pressure on Israel without triggering a major escalation. Smaller Gaza groups claimed responsibility, while there was no word from Hamas rocket squads.

However, Israel said it will not negotiate under such terms.

“When Hamas broke the cease-fire, when Hamas launched rockets and mortar shells at Israel, they broke the premise of the talks,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev. “There will not be negotiations under fire.”

The Israeli delegation to the Cairo talks left Egypt on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return.

Israeli aircraft, meanwhile, struck about 40 targets in Gaza, the army said.

Palestinian officials said at least five people were killed in three separate strikes, two of them near mosques. Among the dead were three boys, a 10-year-old and two cousins, aged 12. At least five boys were wounded.

The deaths brought the overall Palestinian toll since July 8 to 1,902, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra.

Another strike hit a house belonging to members of the Zahar clan, one of the largest in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar also belongs to the clan, but the degree of relation to those in the house was not known.

Police said the house was struck without warning, and rescue services later said three women and a 5-year-old boy were injured.

The current round of fighting is the third in just over five years.

The war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8 and sent in ground troops nine days later to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 67 people – including three civilians – were killed in the past month. Much of the country was exposed to fire, with Gaza militants firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites, and estimated at least 40 percent of the dead were militants.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead reconstruction efforts, but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

—–

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem, Edith Lederer at the United Nations and Maggie Michael in Cairo contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza militants resumed rocket attacks on Israel on Friday, refusing to extend a three-day truce after Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes that killed at least five Palestinians, including three children, Palestinian officials said. Two Israelis were wounded by rocket fire, police said.

The renewed violence threw the Cairo talks on a broader deal into doubt. Hamas officials said they are ready to continue talks, but Israel’s government spokesman said Israel will not negotiate under fire.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed “extreme regret” over the failure to extend the truce, urged restraint by both sides and called for a new cease-fire to resume negotiations. The ministry said progress had been made in the talks, but did not explain.

Later Friday, the Palestinian delegation was to meet again with Egyptian mediators.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “deep disappointment” at the failure to extend the cease-fire and urged the parties to swiftly find a way back to negotiations to reach “a durable cease-fire,” U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.

“The secretary-general firmly calls on the parties not to resort to further military action that can only exacerbate the already appalling humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Haq said. “He condemns the renewed rocket fire towards Israel. More suffering and death of civilians caught up in this conflict is intolerable. “

Hamas wants Israel to open Gaza’s borders, following a seven-year closure also enforced by Egypt, but Israel says it will only do so if the Islamic militants disarm or are prevented from re-arming. Hamas has insisted it will never give up its weapons.

The wide gaps became clear at an all-night meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian negotiators that preceded the renewed fire. Hamas negotiators told The Associated Press that Israel rejected all of their demands.

Hamas had entered the Cairo talks from a position of military weakness, following a month of fighting in which Israel pounded Gaza with close to 5,000 strikes. Israel has said Hamas lost hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rocket arsenal and all of its tunnels under the border with Israel.

The heavy toll of the war appears to have made Hamas even more resistant to returning to the status quo. The group is unlikely to accept a cease-fire without assurances that Gaza’s borders will be opened – particularly after the fighting left more than 1,900 Gaza residents dead, close to 10,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced, with entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

Gaza militants began firing rockets at Israel even before the temporary truce expired at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday.

By late Friday, more than 50 rockets had been fired. Two Israelis were hurt, and one of the rockets hit a home, causing damaging, but no injuries.

The Israeli authorities banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The rockets appeared to have been an attempt by Hamas to exert pressure on Israel without triggering a major escalation. Smaller Gaza groups claimed responsibility, while there was no word from Hamas rocket squads.

However, Israel said it will not negotiate under such terms.

“When Hamas broke the cease-fire, when Hamas launched rockets and mortar shells at Israel, they broke the premise of the talks,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev. “There will not be negotiations under fire.”

The Israeli delegation to the Cairo talks left Egypt on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return.

Israeli aircraft, meanwhile, struck about 40 targets in Gaza, the army said.

Palestinian officials said at least five people were killed in three separate strikes, two of them near mosques. Among the dead were three boys, a 10-year-old and two cousins, aged 12. At least five boys were wounded.

The deaths brought the overall Palestinian toll since July 8 to 1,902, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra.

Another strike hit a house belonging to members of the Zahar clan, one of the largest in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar also belongs to the clan, but the degree of relation to those in the house was not known.

Police said the house was struck without warning, and rescue services later said three women and a 5-year-old boy were injured.

The current round of fighting is the third in just over five years.

The war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8 and sent in ground troops nine days later to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 67 people – including three civilians – were killed in the past month. Much of the country was exposed to fire, with Gaza militants firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites, and estimated at least 40 percent of the dead were militants.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead reconstruction efforts, but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

—–

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem, Edith Lederer at the United Nations and Maggie Michael in Cairo contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza militants resumed rocket attacks on Israel on Friday, refusing to extend a three-day truce after Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes, including one that killed a 10-year-old boy and wounded five children near a Gaza City mosque, Palestinian officials said. Two Israelis were wounded by rocket fire, police said.

The renewed violence threw the Cairo talks on a broader deal into doubt. Hamas officials said they are ready to continue talks, but Israel’s government spokesman said Israel will not negotiate under fire.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed “extreme regret” over the failure to extend the truce, urged restraint by both sides and called for a new cease-fire to resume negotiations. The ministry said progress had been made in the talks, but did not explain.

Hamas wants Israel to open Gaza’s borders, following a seven-year closure also enforced by Egypt, but Israel says it will only do so if the Islamic militants disarm or are prevented from re-arming. Hamas has insisted it will never give up its weapons.

The wide gaps became clear at an all-night meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian negotiators that preceded the renewed fire. Hamas negotiators told The Associated Press that Israel rejected all of their demands.

Hamas had entered the Cairo talks from a position of military weakness, following a month of fighting in which Israel pounded Gaza with close to 5,000 strikes. Israel has said Hamas lost hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rocket arsenal and all of its tunnels under the border with Israel.

The heavy toll of the war appears to have made Hamas even more resistant to returning to the status quo. The group is unlikely to accept a cease-fire without assurances that Gaza’s borders will be opened – particularly after the fighting left close to 1,900 Gaza residents dead, more than 9,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced, with entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

Gaza militants began firing rockets at Israel even before the temporary truce expired at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday.

By midday, 33 rockets had been fired. Twenty-six landed in Israel, three were intercepted and four fell short in Gaza, the army said.

The rockets appeared to have been an attempt by Hamas to exert pressure on Israel without triggering a major escalation. Smaller Gaza groups claimed responsibility, while there was no word from Hamas rocket squads.

However, Israel said it will not negotiate under such terms.

“When Hamas broke the cease-fire, when Hamas launched rockets and mortar shells at Israel, they broke the premise of the talks,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev. “There will not be negotiations under fire.”

The Israeli delegation to the Cairo talks left Egypt on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return, while the Israeli military responded to the strikes.

Police in Gaza said most of the strikes hit empty fields, but one struck the backyard of the Nour al-Mohammadi Mosque in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheik Radwan.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said a 10-year-old boy was killed and five others were wounded, one critically.

Later Friday, rescue services and police said an Israeli airstrike hit a house belonging to members of the Zahar clan, one of the largest in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar also belongs to the clan, but the degree of relation to those in the house was not known.

Police said the house was struck without warning, and rescue services later said three women and a 5-year-old boy were injured.

Two Israelis were wounded by rocket and mortar fire, Israeli police said.

The military announced that authorities are prohibiting gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The current round of fighting is the third in just over five years.

The war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8 and sent in ground troops nine days later to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 67 people – including three civilians – were killed in the past month. Much of the country was exposed to fire, with Gaza militants firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites, and estimated at least 40 percent of the dead were militants.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead reconstruction efforts, but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

—–

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem, and Maggie Michael in Cairo contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza militants resumed rocket attacks on Israel on Friday, refusing to extend a three-day truce after Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes, including one that killed a 10-year-old boy and wounded five children near a Gaza City mosque, Palestinian officials said. Two Israelis were wounded by rocket fire, police said.

The renewed violence threw the Cairo talks on a broader deal into doubt. Hamas officials said they are ready to continue talks, but Israel’s government spokesman said Israel will not negotiate under fire.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed “extreme regret” over the failure to extend the truce, urged restraint by both sides and called for a new cease-fire to resume negotiations. The ministry said progress had been made in the talks, but did not explain.

Hamas wants Israel to open Gaza’s borders, following a seven-year closure also enforced by Egypt, but Israel says it will only do so if the Islamic militants disarm or are prevented from re-arming. Hamas has insisted it will never give up its weapons.

The wide gaps became clear at an all-night meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian negotiators that preceded the renewed fire. Hamas negotiators told The Associated Press that Israel rejected all of their demands.

Hamas had entered the Cairo talks from a position of military weakness, following a month of fighting in which Israel pounded Gaza with close to 5,000 strikes. Israel has said Hamas lost hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rocket arsenal and all of its tunnels under the border with Israel.

The heavy toll of the war appears to have made Hamas even more resistant to returning to the status quo. The group is unlikely to accept a cease-fire without assurances that Gaza’s borders will be opened – particularly after the fighting left close to 1,900 Gaza residents dead, more than 9,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced, with entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

Gaza militants began firing rockets at Israel even before the temporary truce expired at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday.

By midday, 33 rockets had been fired. Twenty-six landed in Israel, three were intercepted and four fell short in Gaza, the army said.

The rockets appeared to have been an attempt by Hamas to exert pressure on Israel without triggering a major escalation. Smaller Gaza groups claimed responsibility, while there was no word from Hamas rocket squads.

However, Israel said it will not negotiate under such terms.

“When Hamas broke the cease-fire, when Hamas launched rockets and mortar shells at Israel, they broke the premise of the talks,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev. “There will not be negotiations under fire.”

The Israeli delegation to the Cairo talks left Egypt on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return, while the Israeli military responded to the strikes.

Police in Gaza said most of the strikes hit empty fields, but one struck the backyard of the Nour al-Mohammadi Mosque in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheik Radwan.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said a 10-year-old boy was killed and five others were wounded, one critically.

Later Friday, rescue services and police said an Israeli airstrike hit a house belonging to members of the Zahar clan, one of the largest in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar also belongs to the clan, but the degree of relation to those in the house was not known.

Police said the house was struck without warning, and rescue services later said three women and a 5-year-old boy were injured.

Two Israelis were wounded by rocket and mortar fire, Israeli police said.

The military announced that authorities are prohibiting gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The current round of fighting is the third in just over five years.

The war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8 and sent in ground troops nine days later to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 67 people – including three civilians – were killed in the past month. Much of the country was exposed to fire, with Gaza militants firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites, and estimated at least 40 percent of the dead were militants.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead reconstruction efforts, but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

—–

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem, and Maggie Michael in Cairo contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza militants resumed rocket attacks on Israel on Friday, refusing to extend a three-day truce after Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes, including one that killed a 10-year-old boy and wounded five children near a Gaza City mosque, Palestinian officials said. Two Israelis were wounded by rocket fire, police said.

The renewed violence threw the Cairo talks on a broader deal into doubt. Hamas officials said they are ready to continue talks, but Israel’s government spokesman said Israel will not negotiate under fire.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed “extreme regret” over the failure to extend the truce, urged restraint by both sides and called for a new cease-fire to resume negotiations. The ministry said progress had been made in the talks, but did not explain.

Hamas wants Israel to open Gaza’s borders, following a seven-year closure also enforced by Egypt, but Israel says it will only do so if the Islamic militants disarm or are prevented from re-arming. Hamas has insisted it will never give up its weapons.

The wide gaps became clear at an all-night meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian negotiators that preceded the renewed fire. Hamas negotiators told The Associated Press that Israel rejected all of their demands.

Hamas had entered the Cairo talks from a position of military weakness, following a month of fighting in which Israel pounded Gaza with close to 5,000 strikes. Israel has said Hamas lost hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rocket arsenal and all of its tunnels under the border with Israel.

The heavy toll of the war appears to have made Hamas even more resistant to returning to the status quo. The group is unlikely to accept a cease-fire without assurances that Gaza’s borders will be opened – particularly after the fighting left close to 1,900 Gaza residents dead, more than 9,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced, with entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

Gaza militants began firing rockets at Israel even before the temporary truce expired at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday.

By midday, 33 rockets had been fired. Twenty-six landed in Israel, three were intercepted and four fell short in Gaza, the army said.

The rockets appeared to have been an attempt by Hamas to exert pressure on Israel without triggering a major escalation. Smaller Gaza groups claimed responsibility, while there was no word from Hamas rocket squads.

However, Israel said it will not negotiate under such terms.

“When Hamas broke the cease-fire, when Hamas launched rockets and mortar shells at Israel, they broke the premise of the talks,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev. “There will not be negotiations under fire.”

The Israeli delegation to the Cairo talks left Egypt on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return, while the Israeli military responded to the strikes.

Police in Gaza said most of the strikes hit empty fields, but one struck the backyard of the Nour al-Mohammadi Mosque in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheik Radwan.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said a 10-year-old boy was killed and five others were wounded, one critically.

Later Friday, rescue services and police said an Israeli airstrike hit a house belonging to members of the Zahar clan, one of the largest in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar also belongs to the clan, but the degree of relation to those in the house was not known.

Police said the house was struck without warning, and rescue services later said three women and a 5-year-old boy were injured.

Two Israelis were wounded by rocket and mortar fire, Israeli police said.

The military announced that authorities are prohibiting gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The current round of fighting is the third in just over five years.

The war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8 and sent in ground troops nine days later to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 67 people – including three civilians – were killed in the past month. Much of the country was exposed to fire, with Gaza militants firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites, and estimated at least 40 percent of the dead were militants.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead reconstruction efforts, but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

—–

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem, and Maggie Michael in Cairo contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza militants resumed rocket attacks on Israel on Friday, refusing to extend a three-day truce after Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes, including one that killed a 10-year-old boy and wounded five children near a Gaza City mosque, Palestinian officials said. Two Israelis were wounded by rocket fire, police said.

The renewed violence threw the Cairo talks on a broader deal into doubt. Hamas officials said they are ready to continue talks, but Israel’s government spokesman said Israel will not negotiate under fire.

Hamas wants Israel to open Gaza’s borders, following a seven-year closure also enforced by Egypt, but Israel says it will only do so if the Islamic militants disarm or are prevented from re-arming. Hamas has insisted it will never give up its arms.

The wide gaps became clear at an all-night meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian negotiators that preceded the renewed fire. Hamas negotiators told The Associated Press that Israel rejected all of their demands.

Hamas had entered the Cairo talks from a position of military weakness, following a month of fighting in which Israel pounded Gaza with close to 5,000 strikes. Israel has said Hamas lost hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rocket arsenal and all of its military attack tunnels under the border with Israel.

The heavy toll of the war appears to have made Hamas even more resistant to returning to the status quo. The group is unlikely to accept a cease-fire without assurances that Gaza’s borders will be opened – particularly after the fighting left close to 1,900 Gaza residents dead, more than 9,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced, with entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

With nothing to show for in the negotiations, Gaza militants began firing rockets at Israel within minutes after the temporary truce expired at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday.

By midday, 33 rockets had been fired. Twenty-six landed in Israel, three were intercepted and four fell short in Gaza, the army said.

The rockets appeared to have been an attempt by Hamas to exert pressure on Israel without triggering a major escalation. Smaller Gaza groups claimed responsibility, while there was no word from Hamas rocket squads.

However, Israel said it will not negotiate under such terms.

“When Hamas broke the cease-fire, when Hamas launched rockets and mortar shells at Israel, they broke the premise of the talks,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev, adding that “there will not be negotiations under fire.”

The Israeli delegation to the Cairo talks left Egypt on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return.

Israel eventually responded to the rockets with what the military said were strikes “across Gaza,” without elaborating.

Police in Gaza said most of the strikes hit empty fields, but that one struck the backyard of the Nour al-Mohammadi Mosque in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheik Radwan.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said a 10-year-old boy was killed and five boys were wounded, one of them critically.

Later Friday, rescue services and police said an Israeli airstrike hit a house belonging to members of the Zahar clan, one of the largest in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar also belongs to the clan, but the degree of relation to those in the house was not known. Police said the house was struck without warning and that 20 people were inside at the time.

Rescue teams were en route to the house, but there was no immediate report on casualties.

Police also reported fire from Israeli tanks on northern Gaza and from Israeli gunboats at the central area of the strip.

Two Israelis were wounded by rocket and mortar fire, police said.

The military announced that authorities are prohibiting gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The current round of fighting is the third in just over five years.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8 and sent in ground troops nine days later to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 67 people – including three civilians – were killed in the past month. Much of the country was exposed to fire, with Gaza militants firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites, and estimated at least 40 percent of the dead were militants.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

Israel argues that it needs to keep Gaza’s borders under a blockade as long as Hamas tries to smuggle weapons into Gaza or manufactures them there.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead reconstruction efforts, but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

The Gaza war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of the group’s members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, and Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel and militants from Gaza resumed cross-border attacks on Friday, after a three-day truce expired and talks brokered by Egypt on a new border deal for the blockaded coastal territory hit a deadlock.

Israel launched at least 10 airstrikes in response to rocket and mortar fire from Gaza. One hit the backyard of a mosque and killed a 10-year-old boy, Palestinian officials said.

In Israel, two people were hurt by rocket fire, police said.

It is not clear if the renewed fighting will derail the Cairo talks, which are aimed at reaching a sustainable truce, or if Egyptian mediators can find a way to prevent further escalation.

Hamas officials said that even though they refused to extend the three-day cease-fire, they were willing to continue negotiations.

An Israeli government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, said Israel would not conduct negotiations under fire and would protect its citizens by all means.

The Israeli delegation left Cairo on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return.

Within minutes after the temporary truce expired at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), Gaza militants began firing rockets. By midday, 33 rockets had been fired. Twenty-six landed in Israel, three were intercepted and four fell short in Gaza, the army said.

Israel eventually responded with what the military said were strikes “across Gaza,” without elaborating.

Police in Gaza said most of the strikes hit empty fields, but that one struck the backyard of the Nour al-Mohammadi Mosque in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheik Radwan.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said a 10-year-old boy was killed and five boys were wounded, one of them critically.

Police also reported fire from Israeli tanks on northern Gaza and from Israeli gunboats at the central area of the strip.

In Israel, the army said it was prohibiting gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The resumption of violence cast doubt over the Cairo negotiations.

Both Israel and Hamas are under international pressure to reach a deal. As part of such an arrangement, Israel wants to see Hamas disarmed or prevented from re-arming, while Hamas demands Gaza’s borders be opened. No progress was reported in all-night talks that ended before dawn Friday.

Hamas, which has seen its popularity boosted for confronting Israel, entered the Cairo talks from a point of military weakness after losing hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rockets arsenal and all of its attack tunnels.

With no definitive statement that it would return to open war, the group appeared to be keeping its options open while several smaller Gaza militant organizations claimed responsibility for Friday’s rocket fire.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev blamed Gaza militants for breaking the cease-fire. “The cease-fire is over,” Regev said. “They did that.”

The three-day truce came after a month of Israel-Hamas fighting, the third cross-border confrontation in just over five years.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8, and nine days later, sent in ground troops to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

Since then, Israeli strikes on Gaza killed nearly 1,900 Palestinians, wounded more than 9,000, devastated large areas along Gaza’s border with Israel and displaced tens of thousands of people.

Sixty-seven people, all but three of them soldiers, were killed on the Israeli side, and Gaza militants fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the past month.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites and military tunnels, and carried out close to 5,000 strikes.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once. The Israeli military said initial estimates show at least 40 percent of those killed were fighters.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

Israel argues that it needs to keep Gaza’s borders under a blockade as long as Hamas tries to smuggle weapons into Gaza or manufactures them there.

Hamas, in turn, has rejected Israel’s demands that it disarm.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead Gaza reconstruction efforts but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

The Gaza war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of the group’s members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, and Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel and militants from Gaza resumed cross-border attacks on Friday, after a three-day truce expired and talks brokered by Egypt on a new border deal for the blockaded coastal territory hit a deadlock.

Israel launched at least 10 airstrikes in response to rocket and mortar fire from Gaza. One hit the backyard of a mosque and killed a 10-year-old boy, Palestinian officials said.

In Israel, two people were hurt by rocket fire, police said.

It is not clear if the renewed fighting will derail the Cairo talks, which are aimed at reaching a sustainable truce, or if Egyptian mediators can find a way to prevent further escalation.

Hamas officials said that even though they refused to extend the three-day cease-fire, they were willing to continue negotiations.

An Israeli government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, said Israel would not conduct negotiations under fire and would protect its citizens by all means.

The Israeli delegation left Cairo on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return.

Within minutes after the temporary truce expired at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), Gaza militants began firing rockets. By midday, 33 rockets had been fired. Twenty-six landed in Israel, three were intercepted and four fell short in Gaza, the army said.

Israel eventually responded with what the military said were strikes “across Gaza,” without elaborating.

Police in Gaza said most of the strikes hit empty fields, but that one struck the backyard of the Nour al-Mohammadi Mosque in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheik Radwan.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said a 10-year-old boy was killed and five boys were wounded, one of them critically.

Police also reported fire from Israeli tanks on northern Gaza and from Israeli gunboats at the central area of the strip.

In Israel, the army said it was prohibiting gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border because of the rocket fire.

The resumption of violence cast doubt over the Cairo negotiations.

Both Israel and Hamas are under international pressure to reach a deal. As part of such an arrangement, Israel wants to see Hamas disarmed or prevented from re-arming, while Hamas demands Gaza’s borders be opened. No progress was reported in all-night talks that ended before dawn Friday.

Hamas, which has seen its popularity boosted for confronting Israel, entered the Cairo talks from a point of military weakness after losing hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rockets arsenal and all of its attack tunnels.

With no definitive statement that it would return to open war, the group appeared to be keeping its options open while several smaller Gaza militant organizations claimed responsibility for Friday’s rocket fire.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev blamed Gaza militants for breaking the cease-fire. “The cease-fire is over,” Regev said. “They did that.”

The three-day truce came after a month of Israel-Hamas fighting, the third cross-border confrontation in just over five years.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8, and nine days later, sent in ground troops to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

Since then, Israeli strikes on Gaza killed nearly 1,900 Palestinians, wounded more than 9,000, devastated large areas along Gaza’s border with Israel and displaced tens of thousands of people.

Sixty-seven people, all but three of them soldiers, were killed on the Israeli side, and Gaza militants fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the past month.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites and military tunnels, and carried out close to 5,000 strikes.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once. The Israeli military said initial estimates show at least 40 percent of those killed were fighters.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

Israel argues that it needs to keep Gaza’s borders under a blockade as long as Hamas tries to smuggle weapons into Gaza or manufactures them there.

Hamas, in turn, has rejected Israel’s demands that it disarm.

The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead Gaza reconstruction efforts but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

The Gaza war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of the group’s members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, and Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel and militants from Gaza resumed cross-border attacks on Friday, after a three-day truce expired and talks brokered by Egypt on a new border deal for the blockaded coastal territory hit a deadlock.

It was not clear if the renewed fighting would derail the Cairo negotiations, which are aimed at reaching a sustainable truce, or whether the Egyptian mediators can find a way to prevent a further escalation and a return to full-out war.

Militants from Gaza fired first after the temporary truce expired at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), launching 21 rockets toward Israel. Most landed in open fields, but two were intercepted over the coastal city of Ashkelon.

The Israeli military said it responded with strikes “across Gaza.”

In Gaza, police said Israel launched 10 airstrikes, with most of them hitting empty lands and farms but that seven people were hurt. Police also reported fire from Israeli tanks on northern Gaza and from Israeli gunboats at the central area of the strip.

The resumption of violence cast doubt over the Cairo negotiations.

Both Israel and Hamas are under international pressure to reach a deal. As part of such an arrangement, Israel wants to see Hamas disarmed or prevented from re-arming, while Hamas demands Gaza’s borders be opened. No progress was reported in all-night talks that ended before dawn Friday.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said that while his group did not agree to an extension of the truce, it was willing to continue the talks.

Hamas, which has seen its popularity boosted for confronting Israel, entered the Cairo talks from a point of military weakness after losing hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rockets arsenal and all of its attack tunnels.

With no definitive statement that it would return to open war, the group appeared to be keeping its options open while several smaller Gaza militant organizations claimed responsibility for Friday’s rocket fire.

The Israeli delegation left Cairo earlier on Friday morning, according to a Cairo airport official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev would not say whether Israel is interested in extending the cease-fire or if it will respond to the rockets.

Regev blamed Gaza militants for breaking the cease-fire.

“The cease-fire is over,” Regev said. “They did that.”

Also, in response to the rocket fire, the Israeli army said it was prohibiting gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas within 80 km (50 miles) of the Gaza border.

The three-day truce came after a month of Israel-Hamas fighting, the third cross-border confrontation in just over five years.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8, and nine days later, sent in ground troops to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

Since then, Israeli strikes on Gaza killed nearly 1,900 Palestinians, wounded more than 9,000, devastated large areas along Gaza’s border with Israel and displaced tens of thousands of people.

Sixty-seven people, all but three of them soldiers, were killed on the Israeli side, and Gaza militants fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the past month.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites and military tunnels, and carried out close to 5,000 strikes.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once. The Israeli military said initial estimates show at least 40 percent of those killed were fighters.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

Israel argues that it needs to keep Gaza’s borders under a blockade as long as Hamas tries to smuggle weapons into Gaza or manufactures them there.

Hamas, in turn, has rejected Israel’s demands that it disarm. The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead Gaza reconstruction efforts but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

The Gaza war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of the group’s members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City and Daniel Estrin in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

KDWN

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel and militants from Gaza resumed cross-border attacks on Friday, after a three-day truce expired and talks brokered by Egypt on a new border deal for the blockaded coastal territory hit a deadlock.

It was not clear if the renewed fighting would derail the Cairo negotiations, which are aimed at reaching a sustainable truce, or whether the Egyptian mediators can find a way to prevent a further escalation and a return to full-out war.

Militants from Gaza fired first after the temporary truce expired at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), launching 21 rockets toward Israel. Most landed in open fields, but two were intercepted over the coastal city of Ashkelon.

The Israeli military said it responded with strikes “across Gaza.”

In Gaza, police said Israel launched 10 airstrikes, with most of them hitting empty lands and farms but that seven people were hurt. Police also reported fire from Israeli tanks on northern Gaza and from Israeli gunboats at the central area of the strip.

The resumption of violence cast doubt over the Cairo negotiations.

Both Israel and Hamas are under international pressure to reach a deal. As part of such an arrangement, Israel wants to see Hamas disarmed or prevented from re-arming, while Hamas demands Gaza’s borders be opened. No progress was reported in all-night talks that ended before dawn Friday.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said that while his group did not agree to an extension of the truce, it was willing to continue the talks.

Hamas, which has seen its popularity boosted for confronting Israel, entered the Cairo talks from a point of military weakness after losing hundreds of fighters, two-thirds of its rockets arsenal and all of its attack tunnels.

With no definitive statement that it would return to open war, the group appeared to be keeping its options open while several smaller Gaza militant organizations claimed responsibility for Friday’s rocket fire.

The Israeli delegation left Cairo earlier on Friday morning, according to a Cairo airport official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev would not say whether Israel is interested in extending the cease-fire or if it will respond to the rockets.

Regev blamed Gaza militants for breaking the cease-fire.

“The cease-fire is over,” Regev said. “They did that.”

Also, in response to the rocket fire, the Israeli army said it was prohibiting gatherings of more than 1,000 people in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas within 80 km (50 miles) of the Gaza border.

The three-day truce came after a month of Israel-Hamas fighting, the third cross-border confrontation in just over five years.

Israel launched an air campaign on the coastal territory on July 8, and nine days later, sent in ground troops to target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

Since then, Israeli strikes on Gaza killed nearly 1,900 Palestinians, wounded more than 9,000, devastated large areas along Gaza’s border with Israel and displaced tens of thousands of people.

Sixty-seven people, all but three of them soldiers, were killed on the Israeli side, and Gaza militants fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the past month.

Israel said it was going after Hamas targets, including rocket launching sites and military tunnels, and carried out close to 5,000 strikes.

The U.N. said most of those killed in Gaza were civilians and that in dozens of cases, strikes hit family homes, killing multiple members of the same family at once. The Israeli military said initial estimates show at least 40 percent of those killed were fighters.

Previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting ended inconclusively, setting the stage for the next confrontation because underlying problems were not resolved, particularly the stifling border closure of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, and have since enforced it to varying degrees.

The closure led to widespread hardship in the Mediterranean seaside territory, home to 1.8 million people. Movement in and out of Gaza is limited, the economy has ground to a standstill and unemployment is over 50 percent.

Israel argues that it needs to keep Gaza’s borders under a blockade as long as Hamas tries to smuggle weapons into Gaza or manufactures them there.

Hamas, in turn, has rejected Israel’s demands that it disarm. The militant group has said it is willing to hand over some power in Gaza to enable its long-time rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to lead Gaza reconstruction efforts but that it would not give up its arsenal and control over thousands of armed men.

The Gaza war grew out of the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of the group’s members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

Daraghmeh reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City and Daniel Estrin in Jerusalem contributed to this report.