Smoke and dust rise after an Israeli strike hit Gaza City, on Aug. 20, 2014. Israel will step up the offensive in the Gaza Strip until rocket firing from there into Israel stops, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, in response to renewed Gaza rocket attacks against central and southern Israel earlier in the day. (Xinhua/Yasser Qudih)
JERUSALEM, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Israel will step up the offensive in the Gaza Strip until rocket firing from there into Israel stops, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, in response to renewed Gaza rocket attacks against central and southern Israel earlier in the day.
"Our policy is simple, if they (Hamas) will shoot, they will be hit back seven-fold," Netanyahu said on TV, adding that Israel will use "all means" to "restore the quiet" across the country. His remarks came just one day after the indirect Gaza truce talks in Cairo collapsed.
On the reported assassination attempt of Hamas' military wing leader Mohammad Deif, which Israel refused to confirm, Netanyahu said "the commanders of terror organizations are a legitimate target, no one is immune."
Israeli airstrike on Deif's home on Wednesday killed his wife and daughter, and triggered a barrage of more than 100 rockets fired into Israel. No injury was reported.
Israel in return carried out numerous airstrikes in Gaza on Wednesday, in which Palestinian officials said at least 20 Palestinians have been killed since the cease-fire talks collapsed.
Before the current round of escalation, more than 2,000 Palestinians have already been killed and about 10,000 injured during Israel's offensive in Gaza that started on July 8. Israel also lost 67 lives, including 64 soldiers who died in clashes with Palestinian militants in the ground incursion into the strip and three civilians killed in rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza.
GAZA, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Hamas movement, officially confirmed on Wednesday that its General Command Mohamed Deif still alive and wasn't killed in a Tuesday night airstrike on a house in northern Gaza city.
Abu Obeida, the group's spokesman, said on al-Aqsa television of the Islamic movement, "The leader Abu Khaled (Deif) wasn't hurt and the enemy's leaders failed to target him." Full story
CAIRO, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Egypt on Wednesday called on Israelis and Palestinians to resume indirect talks mediated by Cairo, after the ceasefire in Gaza has been breached late Tuesday, foreign ministry said in a statement.
"Egypt is expressing its profound regret at the breach of the truce in Gaza Strip and the resumption of fire and renewal of strikes between Israel and the enclave," the statement added. Full story
JERUSALEM/GAZA, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli military struck targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon after three rockets were launched from the strip into southern Israel, breaching the current 24-hour cease-fire agreement, the army said in a statement.
"Following renewed rocket attacks at Israel, amidst the cease- fire, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is currently targeting terror sites across the Gaza Strip," the IDF Spokesperson Unit said in a statement. Full story