GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- A three-day Gaza cease-fire that began Friday quickly unraveled, with Israel suggesting one of its soldiers may have been kidnapped by militants and at least 35 Palestinians killed by shells. Earlier, Israel and Hamas had agreed to halt all aggressive operations and conduct only defensive missions. Israel said one of its soldiers appeared to have been abducted about 90 minutes after the cease-fire came into effect at 8 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET). The Israeli military also said Gaza militants had fired eight rockets and mortars at Israel since the cease-fire began, one of which was intercepted.
Health Ministry official Ashraf al-Kidra said that 35 Palestinians were killed and some 200 others were wounded when Israeli tanks shelled the southern town of Rafah on Friday. Soon after the cease-fire went into force, Gaza's residents took advantage of the truce to return to their homes, many of which had been destroyed in the fighting. Israel's military said five of its soldiers were killed along the Gaza border Thursday night by a mortar round.
- The Associated Press
First published August 1 2014, 2:16 AM