Gaza rockets resume as cease-fire ends, and Israel responds


(JTA) — Palestinian rocket crews fired dozens of rockets at Israel as a 72-hour cease-fire came to a close, and Israel renewed its attacks on Hamas targets in Gaza.

The Israeli strikes were carried out by aircraft over Gaza on Friday morning, Army Radio reported. The strikes resulted in the death of a 10-year-old boy, the Ma’an news agency reported. Eleven others were wounded.

Later in the day, Israel’s army said it killed three terrorists in an airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday as part of a series of strikes on at least 47 targets.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, a total of five people were killed in the strikes Friday and 31 were wounded.

In Israel, one civilian sustained moderate injuries and one soldier was lightly wounded.

More than 45 rockets were fired at Israel since midnight, according to the Israel Defense Forces. At least three of 21 rockets fired Friday morning were intercepted over Israel — one above Sderot and the remaining two over the Ashkelon area, the IDF said.

“In response to the renewal of rocket fire by Gaza terrorists at Israel, we are striking terror sites in Gaza,” the IDF said.

In a statement to media, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesperson, said: “The renewed rocket attacks by terrorists at Israel are unacceptable, intolerable and shortsighted. Hamas’ bad decision to breach the ceasefire will be pursued by the IDF. We will continue to strike Hamas, its infrastructure, its operatives and restore security for the State of Israel.”

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for firing three rockets, according to Army Radio.

In Gaza, thousands of people left their homes ahead of the expiration of the cease-fire, which Hamas and other Palestinian factions refused to extend because Israel would not lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli delegation in Cairo for talks on achieving a more durable cease-fire returned to Israel on Friday morning, Haaretz reported.

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 in response to rocket fire by Hamas from Gaza. On the Israeli side, fighting resulted in the death of 67 people, three of whom were civilians. On the Palestinian side, some 1,800 people have died and thousands were wounded, according to Palestinian sources.

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