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.
GAZA/ASHKELON Israel (Reuters) – Ramadan Subuh surveyed the packed Gaza school where he and some 2,500 other Palestinians have been sheltering and lamented the plight of civilians who have struggled to survive nearly four weeks of Israeli bombardment.
“A life of humiliation – this how we live,” said Subuh, 42, whose family of 12 fled to the U.N.-run Al-Fakhoura school from Beit Lahiya, a town in the northern Gaza Strip devastated by the fighting.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A Palestinian used his heavy construction vehicle to run down and kill an Israeli and overturn a bus on a main Jerusalem street on Monday in attacks that ended when policemen shot him dead, police said.
There were no passengers on the bus, in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of the city. Surveillance video broadcast on Israeli television showed the yellow excavator’s mechanical arm tearing into the side of the bus as it lay on the sidewalk.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A construction vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian and overturned a bus on a main street in Jerusalem on Monday in what police suspect was a Palestinian attack, which ended when policemen shot dead the driver of the yellow excavator.
There were no passengers on the bus, in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of the city. Surveillance video broadcast on Israeli television showed the excavator’s mechanical arm tearing into the side of the bus as it lay on the sidewalk.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A seven-hour truce under which Israel would unilaterally hold fire in most of the Gaza Strip went into force on Monday and Palestinians immediately accused Israel of breaking the ceasefire by bombing a house in Gaza City.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said 15 people were wounded in the strike on a house in Shati camp, mostly women and children.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said it would unilaterally hold fire in most of the Gaza Strip on Monday to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid and allow some of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced by an almost four-week-old war to go home.
The announcement, made first to Palestinian media, met with suspicion from Gaza’s dominant Hamas Islamists and followed unusually strong censure from Washington at the apparent Israeli shelling on Sunday of a U.N.-run shelter that killed 10 people.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing international alarm over a rising civilian death toll in Gaza, said on Thursday he would not accept any ceasefire that stopped Israel completing the destruction of militants’ infiltration tunnels.
The Israeli military estimated on Wednesday that accomplishing that task would take several more days, extending a four-week-old aerial and ground offensive in the small, densely populated coastal territory.