Gaza: Israel bows to pressure, agrees 24-hours ceasefire on condition

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The Israeli military says it is resuming air, ground and naval raids on Gaza as Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets after rejecting a humanitarian truce.

Israel had accepted a UN request for a 24-hour ceasefire, but warned it would act if it was breached by Hamas.

Hamas said it would not accept a truce unless Israeli troops left Gaza and the displaced were allowed to return home.

More than 1,000 Palestinians and 46 Israelis have been killed.

A majority of those killed in Gaza are civilians, Palestinian health officials say, while 43 soldiers and three civilians have died on the Israeli side.

On Saturday, many Gaza residents used the truce to gather supplies and retrieve bodies buried under rubble.

The extended ceasefire had been due to expire at midnight local time (21:00 GMT).

“Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the [Israel Defense Forces] will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip,” Israel’s military said in a statement on Sunday morning.

Israel’s cabinet had decided to extend the humanitarian truce, which began on Saturday until the end of Sunday. However, there was no agreement from Hamas.

The Israeli military also confirmed it would continue operations against tunnels used by Palestinian militants during the truce period.

On Sunday, IDF spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner said raids would resume because of “flagrant violations of humanitarian remission by Hamas”.

Hamas has accused Israel of using previous ceasefires to prepare more attacks, and claimed that there had been truce violations during Saturday.

During the temporary truce, rocket sirens continued to sound across Israeli cities into Sunday. The IDF said some 20 rockets had been launched toward Israel since Saturday night.

It added that a soldier was killed by mortar shell fired from Gaza early on Sunday morning.

The military earlier told the BBC that three mortars had been fired from Gaza and hit Israel in the Eshkol region shortly after 20:00 local time on Saturday.

Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said it had fired a number of short- and longer-range missiles into Israel.

Israel launched its military offensive on July 8 with the declared objective of stopping Hamas firing rockets from Gaza into Israel.

On July 18, it extended operations with a ground offensive, saying it was necessary to destroy tunnels dug by militants to infiltrate Israel.

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