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Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:03:11 +0000
(GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip) -- At least 40 people were dead and 150 injured in Gaza Friday, the Palestinian health ministry said, as a planned 72-hour cease-fire between Israel and Hamas failed.
The cease-fire went into effect at 1 a.m. ET Friday.
Israel blamed the continued fighting on Hamas, saying the Israel Defense Forces responded after Hamas launched an attack. The IDF later confirmed that it was resuming full operations in Gaza.
Homes were struck in Rafah, which lies near Gaza’s borders with Israel and Egypt, Palestinian authorities said. Gray smoke was visible following the attack.
The hospital in the area is small and overwhelmed by the number of people needing medical care, the general director of the health ministry told ABC News.
A soldier was abducted by Hamas during Friday's fighting, the IDF reported.
United Nations special coordinator Robert Serry released a statement acknowledging reports of the ongoing violence. "If corroborated, this would constitute a serious violation of the humanitarian ceasefire in place since 8 a.m. this morning by Gazan militant factions, which should be condemned in the strongest terms," the statement read.
"Mr. Serry urges the Palestinian parties to last night's understanding to urgently reaffirm their commitment to the humanitarian cease-fire. He is deeply concerned regarding the serious consequences on the ground that could arise as a result of this incident. He will continue his efforts to contain the violence and the risk of renewed escalation."
The conflict between Israel and Hamas has lasted nearly a month, with more than 1,400 people killed so far.
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