Israel-Gaza crisis: Conflict resumes after five-hour ceasefire ends and new truce talks continue

Ceasefire comes day after four children from same family killed on beach by Israel missiles

The end of a five-hour ceasefire between Israel and Gaza was marked by renewed cross-border fighting, as officials dismissed reports of a new truce agreement.

Hamas fired 10 rockets at Israel after the end of the temporary truce, while Israel launched two airstrikes at the Gaza Strip, security officials told the Associated Press.

Earlier, Israeli security forces said Palestinian militants fired at least three mortar shells from Gaza two hours after the humanitarian ceasefire agreed by both sides to allow Gaza residents to stock up on supplies went into effect.

It comes as Israel's foreign minister and Hamas denied reports that a comprehensive truce agreement has been reached between Israel and Gaza, instead saying talks in Egypt were ongoing.

On Thursday, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine also said 20 rockets were discovered hidden in an empty school in Gaza, and "strongly condemned" the group that put them there.

Earlier, the military said it had thwarted an attack by 13 Gaza militants who they say sneaked into Israel through a tunnel, killing at least one.

Israel said it would stop its five-hour shelling of Gaza from 7am (GMT) – 10am local time – in order to allow Palestinians to restock food, water and other necessities. However, it had warned it would retaliate “firmly and decisively” if Hamas or any other militant groups launch rocket attacks during that period.

 

Israel had previously agreed to halt its fire for six hours on Tuesday after Egypt brokered a ceasefire proposal that quickly unravelled. Mr Abu Zuhri said on Wednesday his group had formally rejected the plan.

Israel's military said its forces bombed at least 150 targets in Gaza on Wednesday. The Gaza Interior Ministry's website said 30 houses, including those of senior Hamas leaders Mahmoud Zahar, Jamila Shanti, Fathi Hamas and Ismail Ashkar, were targeted.

Palestinian employees of Gaza City's al-Deira hotel carry a wounded boy following an Israeli military strike nearby on the beach Palestinian employees of Gaza City's al-Deira hotel carry a wounded boy following an Israeli military strike nearby on the beach Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said the Palestinian death toll rose to 222, with 1,670 wounded. Only one Israeli has so far died in the conflict - a civilian distributing food to soldiers in southern Israel on Tuesday evening - largely because of the effectiveness of Israel's Iron Dome air defense system in downing incoming rockets.

The four boys, who were cousins aged 9 to 11, were killed on the beach beside a coastal road west of Gaza City, Mr al-Kidra said. Seven others - adults and children - were wounded in the strike, which Palestinian human rights activist Khalil Abu Shamalla and Palestinian health officials said came from an Israeli naval vessel.

A Palestinian man looks at a house destroyed by Israeli Defense Forces during an overnight air strike in Gaza City A Palestinian man looks at a house destroyed by Israeli Defense Forces during an overnight air strike in Gaza City The Israeli army said in a statement it was “carefully investigating” the matter. It said the target of the naval attack was “Hamas terrorist operatives” and that civilian casualties were “a tragic outcome.”

It said the army “has no intention of harming civilians dragged by Hamas into the reality of urban combat.”

Israel's security Cabinet approved a call-up of 8,000 additional reservists, according to an Israeli official, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the matter publicly.

The army said 45,000 reservists have already been summoned - a sign that Israel was ramping up its threat to carry out a ground offensive, although experts have said such an action was highly unlikely.

Palestinian children run to collect leaflets dropped by Israeli Defense Forces over the Shuja'iyya neighbourhood in east Gaza City Palestinian children run to collect leaflets dropped by Israeli Defense Forces over the Shuja'iyya neighbourhood in east Gaza City On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas would pay a high price for rejecting the Egyptian plan.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian residents of northern towns in Gaza were told to evacuate their homes by that morning. The Israeli military said in automated phone calls, text messages and air-dropped leaflets that large numbers of rockets were launched from these areas and that it planned to bomb these locations.

“Whoever disregards these instructions and fails to evacuate immediately, endangers their own lives, as well as those of their families,” the message said.

Young relatives of four boys, all from the Bakr family, killed during Israeli shelling, cry during their funeral in Gaza City Young relatives of four boys, all from the Bakr family, killed during Israeli shelling, cry during their funeral in Gaza City The Wafa Rehabilitation Center in Shijaiyah, which cares for 15 disabled and elderly patients, received several calls demanding the patients evacuate, said its director, Basman Ashi.

An Israel shell hit near the building, damaging the second floor, but causing no injuries, he said. Ashi added that his patients have nowhere to go.

Four foreign volunteers - from Britain, the US, France and Sweden - have set up camp at the rehabilitation center to deter the military from targeting it.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
filmSony could have made a cult classic
Life and Style
fashionThe essential guide to all the designer Christmas sale dates
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas