Israelis, Gaza militants fight on, defying truce efforts

Written by Reuters | Gaza/Jerusalem | Updated: Aug 10 2014, 07:03am hrs
Israel launched more than 20 aerial attacks in Gaza on Saturday, killing five Palestinians, and militants fired rockets at Israel as the conflict entered a second month, defying international efforts to negotiate an agreement for an extended ceasefire.

Medical officials in Gaza said two Palestinians were killed when their motorcycle was bombed and the bodies of three others were found beneath the rubble of one of three bombed mosques.

The air strikes which lasted through the night also bombed three houses, and fighter planes also strafed open areas, medical officials said. The Israeli military said that since midnight it had attacked more than 30 sites in the coastal enclave where Hamas Islamists are dominant, without specifying the targets. Gaza militants fired six rockets at towns in Israels south on Saturday setting off alarm sirens and causing no damage or injuries, a military spokeswoman said.

Violence also picked up in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian territory where President Mahmoud Abbass Fatah movement holds sway, where a Palestinian man died of a gunshot wound from a confrontation with Israeli soldiers in the city of Hebron, medical officials said. Israeli troops shot and killed another Palestinian man, 20, on Friday at a protest near a Jewish settlement outside Ramallah, Israeli military officials said.

Egypt has made no visible progress towards resuming a 72-hour ceasefire that halted the fighting between Israel and Gaza militants that began on July 8, but was expected to pursue these efforts again on Saturday.