GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A 12-hour humanitarian truce went into effect on Saturday after Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip agreed to a U.N. request for a pause in fighting and efforts proceeded to secure a long-term ceasefire moved ahead.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 18 members of a single family were killed by Israeli tank shelling in the southern Gaza Strip shortly before the truce took effect at 8 a.m. (1 a.m. EDT). An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report.
NIR AM Israel (Reuters) – ‘Residents stay in your homes! Do not go outside!’ read the text message sent at dawn to the Israelis living on a kibbutz near the Gaza border, as soldiers searched the grounds for Palestinian gunmen.
While the Nir Am kibbutz was under lockdown on Monday, a deadly battle ensued between the Israeli troops and a squad of Gaza militants, who had tunneled their way across the border and emerged about a mile away from the farm community.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Tuesday it had failed to trace any remains of one of its soldiers whom it believes died in the Gaza Strip two days ago, and whom Hamas has said it captured.
The Israeli military named the missing man as Oron Shaul, 21, who was traveling in an armored vehicle that was hit with an anti-tank missile fired at it by Palestinian fighters in Gaza on Sunday.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, dashing hopes of a pause in the fighting, as the military said one of its soldiers was missing, presumed dead, following clashes with Hamas Islamists.
International efforts to end the 15-day conflict gathered pace, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holding talks in Egypt and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon due to arrive in Israel later in the day.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinians on Tuesday, maintaining its huge offensive against the Gaza Strip as diplomatic pressure mounted to end the worst violence in five years between Islamist Hamas and Israel.
Plumes of dark black smoke rose into the sky above Gaza, and shells continued to rain down on the coastal enclave, while Hamas and its allies fired 11 rockets across the border into southern Israel, the army said.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel fired shells into the Gaza Strip and militants kept up rocket fire into the Jewish state on Sunday with no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough to end the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in two years.
Israeli tank shells killed one Palestinian and hit houses in the northern Gaza district of Shejaia, where residents called local radio stations pleading for evacuation. Shelling killed four Palestinians near the southern town of Rafah, health officials said.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel launched a Gaza ground campaign after 10 days of bombardments from the air and sea failed to stop militants’ rocket attacks, stepping up an offensive that already has taken a heavy toll in civilian lives.
Israel signaled the invasion would be limited in scope – targeting tunnels dug by gunmen – and said it was not intended to topple Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s dominant Islamist group.
JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday instructed the military to begin a ground offensive in Gaza, an official statement from his office said.
Reuters witnesses and Gaza residents reported heavy artillery and naval shelling and helicopter fire along the Gaza border.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel resumed its air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday a day after holding its fire in deference to an Egyptian-proposed cease-fire deal that failed to get Hamas militants to halt rocket attacks.
Attacks in the Gaza Strip killed at least seven Palestinians in the early hours of Wednesday, Gaza health officials said, and destroyed the house of Mahmoud Zahar – who is believed to be in hiding elsewhere – in the first apparent targeting of a top Hamas political leader.
SDEROT Israel (Reuters) – Sitting on a leather sofa in flip-flops and shorts, smoking and eating snacks, a group of middle-aged Israeli men look like they are watching a soccer match on TV, but they are perched atop a hill overlooking the Gaza Strip watching a very different kind of contest.
The buzz of drones flying overhead is interrupted by the blast of rockets fired from the Palestinian enclave. Surrounded by camera crews who rush to catch the action, the men watch for the distant explosions of Israeli air strikes, occasionally offering their commentary on the fighting.