The 72-hour cease-fire agreed upon by Israel and Hamas ended on Friday morning, when mortar shells and missiles were fired from within the Gaza Strip, towards Israeli towns.
Two Israelis were lightly wounded from a mortar shell In Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, and the IDF Home Front Command ordered the opening of all shelters within an 80 kilometer radius from the Strip.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the IDF to respond with firepower to shooting from the Palestinian factions, and the IDF struck dozens of targets in the Strip.
Egyptian sources involved in the negotiations for a permanent cease-fire say the gaps between Israeli and Palestinians' positions remain wide.
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Latest updates [Saturday]:
11:09 P.M. Israel Air Force struck a vehicle in Rafah carrying three Hamas militants. Approximately an hour earlier, the IDF targeted another Hamas member. More than 60 targets were hit in the Gaza Strip in past 24 hours. (Gili Cohen)
9:51 P.M. U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza and pressed for action that would lead to a permanent cease-fire.
"On Gaza, they condemned the resumption of rocket fire and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities leading to a sustainable cease-fire," the White House said in a statement about the call between the two leaders, during which they also discussed Iraq and Ukraine.
"President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron reiterated support for Israel's right to self-defense while emphasizing the need for all sides to minimize civilian casualties." (Reuters)
9:24 P.M. Reports from Gaza say an Israeli aircraft fired at a Mercedes near a mosque east of Rafah. Two bodies were reportedly recovered. (Jack Khoury)
9:14 P.M. Despite Israel Police's decision not to allow a pro-peace rally to take place in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, some 200 people gathered in Rabin Square, calling to "end the siege and the war" and to put "money into welfare, not war." Some carried signs that said "Stop the massacre, end the siege." About 20 people gathered for a counter-protest nearby, waving the Israeli flag and singing the national anthem. Police forces kept the sides separate.
Earlier on Saturday, Tel Aviv police announced it will not permit the demonstration "due to the security situation, the rocket threat, and in light of the recommendations set forth by the Home Front Command." (Yaniv Kubovich and Jonathan Lis)
8:13 P.M. Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk, who is also a member of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo, says he believes negotiations will resume on Sunday with the Israeli delegation present. (Jack Khoury)
7:42 P.M. A senior Israeli official said on Saturday that the talks in Cairo between Egypt intelligence chiefs and the Palestinian delegation are focused almost exclusively on restoring the cease-fire. According to the official, Israel has made it clear to Egypt that the negotiating team will not return to Cairo until the cease-fire is renewed. The Egyptians are now trying to reach an agreement between Hamas and the rest of the Palestinian factions to stop the rocket fire into Israel, thus allowing for restarting talks on the rest of the issues.
During the talks with the Egyptians, the Israeli negotiating team presented several Israel is prepared to take to ease restrictions in Gaza. According to the official, Israel would be willing to expand the fishing area in Gaza to 12 nautical miles, ease restrictions on goods coming in through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, allow more export from Gaza to the West Bank and abroad and increase the number of permits for Palestinians to travel between Gaza and the West Bank, via Erez Crossing. (Barak Ravid)
7:36 P.M. Conflicting reports came in from Cairo of a Palestinian draft agreement to be presented to Israel late Saturday. A Palestinian official told AFP that as part of the agreement, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority would take control of the Rafah Crossing. Hamas' demand of opening a sea port in Gaza would be postponed and deferred to the PA, which would in turn negotiate the matter with Israel. However, a senior Palestinian official with ties to President Mahmoud Abbas criticized for setting conditions for a cease-fire instead of insisting on a formula that would lead to a Palestinian state.
The Palestinian delegation in Cairo said they had no intention of leaving Egypt's capital until a cease-fire agreement is reached, adding that their demand are legitimate. Palestinian officials said they believe the next few hours of negotiations will be crucial. (Jack Khoury) Read full article here
5:59 P.M. Rocket expldoes in open area near a community in Sdot Negev Regional council. No reports of damage. (Shirly Seidler)
5:45 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Sha'ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev Regional Councils.
4:54 P.M. Two mortar shells explode in open areas near a Kibbutz in Eshkol Regional Council.
Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, repeated his statement that Hamas will not give up any of its demands. (Shirly Seidler and Jack Khoury)
4:06 P.M. An Israeli official said there are no plans at the moment to send the Israeli delegation back to Cairo on Saturday night. "We will not negotiate under rocket fire," the official said. (Barak Ravid)
3:57 P.M. Rocket explodes inside community in Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage reported. (Shirly Seidler)
3:33 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Eshkol Regional Council.
2:26 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Gaza-bordering areas (Haaretz)
1:02 P.M. Tel Aviv police announces it will not permit the left-wing demonstration planned for this evening in the city's Rabin Square. "Due to the security situation, the rocket threat, and in light of the recommendations set forth by the Home Front Command, it has been decided that no large-scale public congregations in open areas will be allowed."
According to the instructions issued by the IDF's Home Front Command yesterday, gatherings of over 1,000 people in open areas are not permitted anywhere within 40-80 kilometers of the Strip's perimeter. Both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv fall into that category.
In areas within 40 kilometers of the Strip, public gathering of over 500 people are forbidden, both oin open areas and within closed spaces. (Yaniv Kubovich)
12:08 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Gaza border areas. One rocket landed in an open area in Sdot Negev Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler, Haaretz)
11:16 A.M. Five Gaza Palestinians have been killed in recent hours in IDF airstrikes in the Strip.
Two men killed while driving on a motorcycle in Elma'azzi refugee camp in the central Strip. The IDF confirmed the report, saying the two were militants belnging to a Palestinian faction.
Earlier, three bodies were found under the ruins of a mosque that was destroyed in an early morning IDF airstrike.
IDF struck 33 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, the military's spokesman says. Israel has carried out 100 airstrikes since end of cease-fire on Friday morning. (Jack Khoury, Gili Cohen)
10:37 A.M. Gaza-based medics report that Israeli airstrikes were stepping up.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra told reporters that at least one man was killed after a strike hit a mosque in the central Gaza Strip refugee camp of Nuseirat.
Residents said the airstrikes started after midnight and targeted mosques in the southern Gaza Strip towns of Rafah and Khan Youis. Houses and several open spaces were also bombed.
Israeli attacks have destroyed 63 mosques since the Gaza Strip offensive began on July 8, reported the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Al-Qedra also said that at least 10 Palestinians have been injured in Saturday's airstrikes, adding that two of the victims are in critical condition.
Israeli jets targeted 30 sites overnight into Saturday as the military resumed its offensive against militants in the Gaza Strip, according to a military spokeswoman.
The airstrikes resumed after minor militant groups fired dozens of rockets into Israel on Friday. The renewal of fighting came after Egypt's attempt to mediate a cease-fire failed on Thursday. On Friday, an Egyptian-brokered 72-hour cease-fire ended.
Al-Qedra said that the death toll since the beginning of the Israeli offensive had reached 1,899, with the wounded numbering around 10,000 people. (DPA)
8:57 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in Eshkol Regional Council (Haaretz)
7:02 A.M. Four mortar shells hit open areas near Gaza-bordering town in Eshkol; One missile strikes Sdot Negev Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
6:52 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in two Israeli towns near Gaza border. (Haaretz)
1:05 A.M. More than 15,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered at a pro-Hamas rally in Jordan's capital on Friday, with many chanting "death to Israel" and urging the militant Palestinian group to step up rocket salvos against Israeli towns and cities.
The evening rally, the largest such protest in Amman in years, saw scores of masked youths dressed in the uniform of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, stage a mock military parade to the cheers of a flag-waving crowd. (Reuters)
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