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Israel attempts hit on Hamas commander as clashes resume

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israel attempted to assassinate a Hamas leader as clashes between Hamas and Israel resumed following Hamas rocket fire on Israel.

Israel and Hamas renewed clashes after Hamas launched a barrage of rockets across Israel Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. According to the Israel Defense Forces, Hamas has fired 70 rockets at Israel in the barrage. Israel has responded with airstrikes on Gaza, killing 11 people, according to Hamas.

One of the strikes attempted to assassinate Muhammed Deif, the head of Hamas’ armed wing. Deif’s wife and son were killed in the strike, along with a third unidentified man, but Israel could not confirm that the body was Deif’s.

The renewed fighting ended indirect cease-fire negotiations between the sides in Cairo, as Israel recalled its negotiators following the Hamas rocket fire Tuesday, which broke a 24-hour truce. Qatar reportedly pressured Hamas into rejecting Egypt’s cease-fire proposal, threatening to expel Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal if he accepted it. Palestinian sources blamed the breakdown in talks on Israel.

Israel has recalled 2,000 reservists who were sent home during an earlier truce. Israel’s security Cabinet will meet to discuss the situation Wednesday afternoon.

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