An Israeli civilian was killed by a mortar shell from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the military said, the first fatality for Israel after more than a week of fighting with Palestinian militants. Over 180 Palestinian have been killed since the most recent flare-up of hostilities. The Islamist group Hamas that rules Gaza claimed responsibility for launching the short-range rocket that struck an area along the border with Gaza.
Police said the Israeli man was delivering food to soldiers near the border when he was struck.
The death came after hopes of a Tuesday morning cease-fire disintegrated before it even began. In a statement following the killing, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "I said before if Hamas will not agree to the cease fire, I will instruct IDF to strike — and that's how we acted this afternoon. The attacks will continue; whoever tries to attack Israel — Israel will attack back.
He continued, "We wanted to solve this politically, but Hamas said no. I am determined to do the right thing in order to bring back the quiet." Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon added, ominously, "We will make Hamas regret it, so they will think twice before going on another round of violence."
First published July 15 2014, 10:25 AM