Middle East Unrest

Israel's Military Told to 'Forcefully React' as Cease-Fire Ends


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip ā€” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israel's military to "forcefully react" after fighting resumed within seconds of a 72-hour Gaza cease-fire that ended early Friday. Israel said at least 33 rockets had been fired from Gaza by noon local time (5 a.m. ET). Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner confirmed that "terror sites" were being targeted across Gaza on Friday. He said: "We will continue to strike Hamas, its infrastructure, its operatives and restore security." Israel launched at least 10 airstrikes. One hit the backyard of a mosque and killed a 10-year-old boy, Palestinian officials said.

Speaking on Army Radio, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz also raised the prospect of Israel relaunching a ground operation it halted on Tuesday and "taking control of the Gaza Strip in order to topple the Hamas regime." Officials in Gaza say the war has killed nearly 1,900 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed since fighting began on July 8, after a surge in Palestinian rockets into Israel.



ā€” Bill Neely, Yael Factor, Ghazi Balkiz and Wajeeh Abu Zarefa

The Associated Press contributed to this report.