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Israel resumes airstrikes after Hamas balks at cease-fire

As of Tuesday, Palestinian health authorities reported that Israeli airstrikes on Gaza had killed 194 people and wounded 1,400 more.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   July 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM
http://cdnph.upi.com/sv/em/upi/UPI-1321405430052/2014/1/0526418f0e9c035aa9e3b2b6e8ee8e8f/Israel-resumes-airstrikes-after-Hamas-balks-at-cease-fire.jpg
TEL AVIV, Israel, July 15 (UPI) -- Israel resumed its airstrike on the Gaza Strip Tuesday after Hamas refused to accept an Egyptian cease-fire proposal and fired rockets at Israel.

Hope arose early Tuesday morning when the Egyptian government proposed a cease-fire between the Israeli military and Hamas militants. That hope was dashed, however, when Hamas refused to accept the offer and continued to send rockets into Israel, causing the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to resume its airstrikes into the Gaza Strip.

CNN reports that a crew in Gaza City witnessed five Israeli airstrikes just as they announced the cease-fire failure and the renewed assault.

A senior Israeli official told The Washington Post, following the refusal of the Egyptian proposal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, the IDF chief of general staff, "have instructed the army to operate with full force against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza."

Hamas said they rejected the proposal because it was not consulted and the "unacceptable" agreement did not meet any of the demands of the Palestinians.

"We are holding in our hands a proposal we got off social media," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official. "We refuse to be dealt with in such a way."

Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, promised the "resistance will continue until all the demands of our people are met."

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry was planning a trip to the Middle East to help form a cease-fire plan, but delayed his trip to allow the Egyptian efforts to have a chance to succeed.

"The Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire and negotiations provides an opportunity to end the violence and restore calm," Kerry said from Vienna, Austria. "We welcome the Israeli cabinet's decision to accept it. We urge all other parties to accept the proposal."

Kerry condemned Hamas' actions in response to the cease-fire proposal, saying he is ready to travel to the Middle East as early as Wednesday if necessary.

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