GAZA CITY: The death toll from Israel’s week-long campaign in Gaza rose to 197 yesterday as Palestinians were killed in renewed strikes after an Egyptian truce bid failed.
Israel’s first fatality in the war was also reported, with a man killed by rocket fire from Gaza near the Erez border crossing.
Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf Al Qudra said two Palestinians were killed in a car in southern Rafah and a third man was killed in central Johr Al Deek.
Earlier, a 24-year-old man was killed in Zeitun, east of Gaza City, and a 77-year-old man was killed in the southern city of Khan Yunis.
They were the first fatalities since Israel renewed its air strikes after observing for six hours a ceasefire that Hamas snubbed.
The Egyptian-proposed ceasefire went into effect at 0600 GMT, but Hamas said it had not been consulted on the truce and would not halt fire without a full-fledged agreement involving Israeli concessions.
Before the 0600 GMT deadline, three people were killed in two separate air strikes on Khan Yunis, and two other men in the city succumbed to injuries sustained in earlier raids, Qudra said.
Also in the south, a woman was killed in an earlier strike on Rafah.
The previous major conflict between Israel and Hamas militants, an eight-day confrontation in November 2012, had claimed the lives of 177 Palestinians and six Israelis.
One Israeli was killed last evening by rocket fire from Gaza near the Erez border crossing. Four people have been seriously wounded.
Israel began Operation Protective Edge before dawn yesterday in an attempt to halt cross-border rocket fire by militant groups.
Since then, over 960 rockets have hit Israel, while another 215 have been intercepted by its Iron Dome air defence system.
Late yesterday, the Israeli army said it was sending messages to residents of parts of eastern and northern Gaza, “requesting them to evacuate their homes for their own safety” ahead of new strikes.