Violence Resumes in Gaza, but Hamas Calls for New Truce
Hostilities resumed Sunday in the Gaza Strip after Palestinian militants unleashed volleys of rockets at Israel and the Israelis declared an end to a temporary humanitarian truce. Once again, huge explosions reverberated across the coastal enclave and plumes of black smoke stained the horizon.
The fighting, now in its 20th day, has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians, with at least six more deaths reported Sunday. At least 43 Israeli soldiers, representing the country’s largest loss of life in a military operation in nearly a decade. Three civilians have died on the Israeli side.
In a statement, the Israeli government blamed “incessant rocket fire” for scuttling Israel’s unilateral 24-hour extension of Saturday’s daylong cease-fire. During that lull, Palestinians dug some 150 bodies from the rubble of ruined districts and carried away what they could salvage. Many sobbed when they got their first glimpse of destroyed homes.