Gaza Violence Resumes; Hamas Military Chief Targeted

Israel says more than 70 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours, leading it to respond with at least 60 airstrikes after a short-lived cease-fire with Hamas broke down Tuesday. Palestinians say at least 11 people died in Israel’s strikes.

The renewed violence comes after Egypt led diplomatic efforts to try to end the fighting.

From Gaza, NPR’s Philip Reeves reports that the targets of Israel’s airstrikes “appear to have included the veteran head of the Hamas military wing, Mohammed Deif.”

It’s being widely reported that Deif’s wife and seven-month-old son were killed in the attack, but not Deif.Philip also notes that Israel is now recalling 2,000 army reservists to duty, after sending them home just a few weeks ago.

“Palestinian officials say the death toll in Gaza has risen above 2,000 since the war began last month,” he adds. “64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have also been killed.”

Both Israel and Hamas have now recalled their negotiators from Cairo, where talks had extended a truce as the teams worked toward a long-term peace agreement,” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reports.

From Jerusalem, NPR’s Jackie Northam reports:

“For the past two weeks, Egyptian mediators were able to get both sides to agree to a number of cease-fire extensions, in order to continue the talks. But analysts say in the end, the demands between Israel and Hamas were too far apart for talks to continue.”

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Read original article – Published August 20, 2014 9:56 AM ET
Gaza Violence Resumes; Hamas Military Chief Targeted