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Gaza cease-fire collapses
 
 
 
Gaza cease-fire collapses

GAZA/JERUSALEM- Israel resumed its air strikes in the Gaza Strip today after holding its fire in deference to an Egyptian-proposed cease-fire deal that failed to get Hamas militants to halt rocket attacks.


Attacks in the Gaza Strip killed at least seven Palestinians in the early hours today, Gaza health officials said, and destroyed the house of Mahmoud Zahar - who is believed to be in hiding elsewhere - in the first apparent targeting of a top Hamas political leader.


The week-old conflict seemed to be at a turning point on Tuesday, with Hamas defying Arab and Western calls to cease fire and Israel threatening to step up an offensive that could include an invasion of the densely populated enclave.


The Israeli military said it had sent out warning messages to residents in the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes by 0800 (0500 GMT) ahead of renewed attacks.


Palestinian officials said residents in two Gaza City neighborhoods had received the warnings but Gaza Interior Ministry told people not to heed the Israeli messages and dismissed them as psychological warfare.


Gaza militants kept up rocket salvoes into Israel, firing more than 150 rockets at Israel since Tuesday, when the truce was to begin.


Gaza medical officials say 195 Palestinians, including at least 150 civilians, among them 31 children, have been killed.


One Israeli has been killed in the fighting. Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted 20 of the Hamas projectiles, including two over the Tel Aviv area, and the rest caused no damage or casualties.


Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack against Israel's commercial capital, which has been targeted frequently since the war began, as well as for the rocket that killed the Israeli man along the border.


Israel has mobilized tens of thousands of troops for a threatened invasion into the enclave, home to 1.8 million Palestinians, if the rocket volleys persisted.

 
 
 
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