NAHAL OZ Israel (Reuters) – Israelis living on the Gaza border have warily returned home after fleeing mortar and rocket fire during a seven-week war but they are angry with the government and fear it is just a matter of time before their villages are targeted again.
An open-ended ceasefire nine days ago halted the deadliest fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in a decade – a war that residents of southern Israel had hoped would finally put a stop to years of occasional rocket and mortar bomb attacks by militants in the Hamas Islamist-dominated Gaza Strip.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli aircraft bombed the Gaza Strip on Saturday and Palestinian militants fired rockets at the Jewish state, the military said, with no end in sight to the deadliest violence between the sides in years.
Gaza health officials said five people were killed in an Israeli strike on a house in central Gaza. The Israeli military said it bombed about 20 targets across the Hamas-dominated strip, including rocket launchers and weapon caches.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel killed three senior Hamas commanders in the Gaza Strip in an air strike on Thursday and said it would continue to target the group’s armed leadership after a ceasefire failed.
Hamas, which dominates Gaza, named the men as Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum, the three highest-ranking casualties it has announced since Israel started its offensive six weeks ago.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Mohammed Deif, the shadowy leader of Hamas’s armed wing in Gaza, appears to have narrowly survived a fifth attempt to assassinate him, allowing the mastermind of the six-week war on Israel to pursue the conflict from his network of tunnels.
Badly hurt in repeated attacks over the past decade, Deif is believed to spend most of his time underground, overseeing the winding tunnels that have been painstakingly built over the past six years and were used to burrow into and attack Israel.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli air strikes killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza, including the wife and infant son of Hamas’s military leader, Mohammed Deif, in what the group said on Wednesday was an attempt to assassinate him after a ceasefire collapsed.
Accusing Israel of opening a “gateway to hell”, Hamas fired rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The attacks caused no casualties but demonstrated the Islamist movement could still bring the Gaza war to Israel’s heartland despite heavy Israeli bombardments in the five-week-old conflict.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A new, five-day truce between Israel and Hamas appeared to be holding on Thursday despite a shaky start, after both sides agreed to give Egyptian-brokered peace negotiations in Cairo more time to try to end the Gaza war.
The Israeli military said Gaza militants had breached the truce by firing eight rockets at Israel shortly after midnight. In response, Israeli fighter planes targeted “rocket launchers and terror sites” across the enclave. No casualties were reported and hostilities died down by dawn.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli assassination attempts may have left him badly hurt and driven him deep underground, but Mohammed Deif, the shadowy leader of Hamas’ armed wing in the Gaza Strip, has emerged as a mastermind of the war with Israel.
As chief strategist behind a network of tunnels under Israel’s border, Deif caught his powerful enemy off guard with surprise attacks that caused heavy casualties. Despite punishing Israeli strikes in the month-old conflict, Hamas kept up its rocket fire, even against business capital Tel Aviv.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and the Palestinians renewed a truce that had largely tempered a five-week-old war, but the deal got off to a shaky start on Thursday with rockets from Gaza slamming into Israel and Israel retaliating with air strikes.
The Israeli military said Gaza militants breached the truce and fired eight rockets at Israel and that in response army forces targeted “terror sites” across the enclave. There were no casualties reported in any of the incidents.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Talks to end a month-long war between Israel and Islamist militants in Gaza have made no progress so far, an Israeli official said on Tuesday, as a 72-hour ceasefire in the shattered Palestinian enclave held for a second day.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were expected to reconvene later in the day in Cairo where Hamas and its allies are seeking an end to an Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip.
NIR AM Israel (Reuters) – Many Israelis living on the Gaza border were unconvinced by their military’s announcement that its mission was accomplished in a nearly month-long campaign aimed at ending rocket strikes and tunnel infiltration.
Israel’s government, they said, had taken too long to deal with the network of underground passages Palestinian militants had been digging for years, and it may have acted prematurely in pulling the army out of Gaza on Tuesday, just before the start of a 72-hour truce.