Israel resumes Gaza airstrikes as ceasefire ends
By Ola Attalah, Turgut Alp Boyraz, Friday, August 08, 2014
GAZA CITY – Israeli army resumed airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Friday following the expiry of a three-day ceasefire with Palestinian factions.
Israeli warplanes launched three airstrikes on farmlands in southern and western Gaza City, local Palestinian sources said.
Israeli planes also struck empty lands in northern and eastern Gaza Strip.
Israeli jet fighters also raided an empty land in eastern Rafah city in southern Gaza Strip.
No casualties were reported.
The Israeli army confirmed the airstrikes, saying the attacks targeted what it described as "terror sites" in Gaza.
"The IDF [army] is determined to defend the civilians of the state of Israel,” it said in a statement.
Army spokesman Peter Lerner said that Israel will pursue Hamas' "bad" decision to breach the ceasefire, vowing to restore "security for the State of Israel."
Friday's raids came shortly after Palestinian factions fired a barrage of rockets at Israel following the expiry of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on Friday.
The ceasefire was brokered following a month of incessant Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip that left 1893 Palestinians dead and 9806 others injured. The attacks have also turned thousands of Gaza's buildings into rubble.
Palestinian factions and Israel held indirect talks in Cairo to extend the ceasefire, but no agreement was reached as Palestinian factions linked the extension to Israel's approval of their conditions, including lifting a years-long blockade on the Gaza Strip and the creation of a seaport.
The Gaza Strip, home to 1.8 million Palestinians, has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2006, badly affecting the livelihood in the seaside enclave.
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