TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip after three fired from the enclave shattered a temporary truce on Tuesday. The Israeli military said it bombed targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the renewed rocket fire, adding that "yet again, terrorists breach the ceasefire."
The rockets fired Tuesday from Gaza landed on open fields near the city of Beersheba and did not cause any casualties, Israeli military officials said, with witnesses in Gaza City telling Reuters that they heard the sound of rockets being launched from the enclave. The exchange of fire shattered a 24-hour truce extension that was due to expire at midnight. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been in Cairo trying to hammer out a deal to end the crisis which has killed around 2,000 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis. After Tuesday's rocket launches, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli team to come home, an official told NBC News on condition of anonymity. A source with the Palestinian delegation in Cairo said, "Meetings with Egyptians have ended. Negotiations with Israelis have been frozen."
Meanwhile, the State Department condemned the renewed rocket fire while saying that “Israel has a right to defend itself against such attacks.” State spokeswoman Marie Harf called for an “immediate end to rocket fire and hostilities and a return to cease-fire talks.”
— Paul Goldman
First published August 19 2014, 6:47 AM