Gaza rocket fire kills one Israeli civilian as Netanyahu vows expanded attacks
                 English.news.cn | 2014-07-16 01:33:31 | Editor: Mu Xuequan

 

Smokes rise following Israeli air strikes in the northern Gaza Strip, on July 15, 2014. Rocket fire from Gaza on Tuesday killed an Israeli civilian near the Erez crossing at the Gaza border, the first Israeli casualty since Israel launched its " Operation Protective Edge" last week, Israeli officials said. (Xinhua/JINI)

JERUSALEM, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Rocket fire from Gaza on Tuesday killed an Israeli civilian near the Erez crossing at the Gaza border, the first Israeli casualty since Israel launched its " Operation Protective Edge" last week, Israeli officials said.

The 30-year-old man was fatally injured by a rocket that struck the Erez crossing and died of his wounds shortly after, a spokesperson with the Israeli army told Xinhua. A soldier at the scene was also slightly injured.

Later in the day, Gaza militants intensified the rocket fire on Israel, launching some 96 rockets since Israel unilaterally accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal this morning.

At around 7:00 P.M. (1600 GMT), barrages of rocket showered Tel Aviv and the southern cities of Be'er Sheva, Ofakim and Mitzpe Ramon. Iron Dome anti-missile defense system intercepted two rockets above Tel Aviv, a spokesperson with the Israeli military confirmed.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel resumed its air raids on Gaza, after a unilateral approval of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement by its cabinet was met with fire of at least 96 Gaza rockets. Since the beginning of Israel's offensive against the Gaza Strip in July 8, the health ministry in Gaza said that 194 Palestinians were killed, with 1,480 injured.

Also on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will expand its military campaign against Gaza as Hamas rejected the cease fire proposal.

"I said that if Hamas and the Islamic Jihad will not comply with the cease fire we will continue to strike them forcefully, and so we did," Netanyahu told reports at a press conference.

"In the afternoon the Israeli Air Force struck many terrorist targets in Gaza and these attacks will continue," Netanyahu said. "Hamas chose to continue the escalation and it will pay a price for this decision. When there's no cease fire, our answer is fire, " the prime minister added.

However the prime minister did not specifically talk about a ground offensive, but Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Israel will continue to attack Hamas, "by air, sea or land" if necessary.

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