The Israeli military resumed fighting in the Gaza Strip Sunday morning, saying Hamas rocket fire was “incessant” during a proposed extension of Saturday’s humanitarian cease-fire.
The initial 12-hour cease-fire had begun on Saturday morning, giving Gaza residents the chance to stock up on supplies after a nearly three-week Israeli offensive against Hamas militants. Israel then offered a four-hour extension, which Hamas rejected.
Hamas resumed attacks shortly after the initial cease-fire expired at 1 p.m. ET Saturday (8 p.m. Israeli time), firing rockets and mortars at several communities in southern Israel, as NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reported from Jerusalem.
Late Saturday night, Israel’s security cabinet voted to extend the cease-fire for an additional 24 hours, until midnight Israeli time on Sunday. But as NPR’s Emily Harris reported from Gaza, Hamas did not accept the terms of the truce.
“An Israeli government official said troops will remain in Gaza during an extended cease-fire and will keep destroying tunnels, weapons and other infrastructure used by militant groups,” Harris reported for our Newscast unit. “Hamas’ spokesman said in a statement it will not accept any cease-fire that doesn’t include Israeli troops withdrawing from Gaza.”
Israel’s military says one of their soldiers was killed by a mortar overnight, Reuters reports. The military announced the resumption of air, naval and ground activity Sunday morning; shortly afterward, according to the wire service, heavy shelling was heard east of Gaza City.