Occupied Jerusalem: The Israeli occupation military says it has resumed airstrikes on Gaza after Hamas fighters violated a de-escalation brokered by Egypt.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner says that after holding its fire for six hours Israel has “resumed operational activities.”
The military says that during the six hours Gaza fighters fired about 50 rockets all over Israel. No injuries were reported.
The de-escalation period was meant to lead to detailed ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas and end a week of fighting that has killed more than 190 Palestinians and exposed millions of Israelis to rocket fire from Gaza.
Israel accepted the Egyptian truce plan, but vowed to hit Gaza hard if Hamas rejected the deal.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned of the “great risks” of spiralling violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip and called on Arab nations to push Hamas to accept a ceasefire.
“There are great risks in what is happening there and the potential of an even greater escalation of violence,” Kerry told reporters in Vienna, as he wrapped up two days of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme.
Kerry said he had decided to cancel a planned trip to Egypt and return to Washington in order to give an Cairo-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Gaza time to work.
And he urged Arab nations to push the Islamist Hamas movement to accept the deal, which it has so far rejected despite approval from Israel’s cabinet.
“We are prepared... to do everything in our power to help the parties come together and work to create a climate for genuine negotiations,” Kerry said.
“I am prepared to fly back to the region tomorrow if I have to, or the next day or the next in order to pursue the prospects if this doesn’t work. But the Egyptians deserve the time and space to be able to try to make this initiative work.”
Kerry called on all members of the Arab community “to get Hamas to do the right thing here, which is cease the violence, engage in negotiations and protect the lives of people that they seem all too wiling to put to risk”.