Playground, hospital hit as Gaza war escalates

The Palestinian press agency said 10 children were killed in the playground strike.
By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  July 28, 2014 at 2:27 PM
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JERUSALEM, July 28 (UPI) -- Explosions at a Palestinian playground and near a Gaza City hospital ended an informal pause in hostilities in Gaza Monday.

The Hamas government of Gaza and the Israel Defense Force blamed each other for the rocket attack on a playground at the Shati refugee camp -- which, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said, killed 10 children -- and on the outside wall of Gaza City's largest hospital. The latter attack reportedly caused damage but no casualties.

The news agency claimed the attacks were by Israeli missiles, but Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, Israeli military spokesman, said the incidents "have absolutely nothing to do with us," suggesting the explosions were caused rockets fired by Hamas and aimed at Israel.

The Israeli military also reported several armed men were shot and killed as they shot at border guards while attempting to infiltrate Israel through the network of tunnels under the border between Gaza and Israel.

The unofficial calm Monday was meant to respect the normally festive Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr, symbolizing the end of month-long Ramadan. Lerner said the Israeli army "toned down its activities to the level where we are combating tunnels on the one hand and responding to Hamas aggression on the other."

It came after the United Nations Security Council met in a midnight session Monday to support a cease-fire. Later in the morning Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said the U.N. statement "related to the needs of a murderous terrorist organization that attacks Israeli citizens," a reference to Hamas, "and does not address the security needs of Israel." He called for a demilitarization of Gaza.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is also calling for the disarmament of Hamas in Gaza.

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