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Israel Hammers Rocket Launchers, Tunnels in Fresh Gaza Barrage

Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:58:37 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- Israel hammered what it called terrorist sites in Gaza Tuesday after ending a brief one-sided ceasefire, taking out rocket launchers, tunnels and weapons depots.

The fresh Israeli barrage came as about 125 rockets were fired at Israel since 9 a.m. local time Tuesday. The rockets claimed their first Israeli fatality in the week-long slugfest between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip.

The attacks came after Israel halted its naval and air bombardment of Hamas targets for six hours in response to an Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire proposal. Hamas rejected the terms of the ceasefire and fired another 47 rockets at Israel, which is when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unleashed his military again.

"Hamas chose to continue fighting and will pay the price for that decision," Netanyahu said in an address to the country Tuesday.

The Israeli Defense Forces said that since it resumed its offensive, it has attacked 20 concealed rocket launchers, tunnels, weapons storage facilities and "operational infrastructure."

Israel has massed tanks and troops near Gaza's border and Netanyahu has threatened a ground invasion, but it's not clear whether an invasion was about to occur.

The fighting has left at least 195 Palestinians dead and more than 1,400 injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

There was briefly some optimism that the fighting would stop after the Israeli Cabinet accepted Egypt's proposal for a cease-fire, but Hamas rejected the proposal.

The Egyptian plan called for hostilities to end on Tuesday, followed by negotiations on easing the border blockade of Gaza.

But about two hours after the cease-fire initiative should have taken effect, multiple rockets were launched from Gaza, intended for southern Israel. Many of the rockets were intercepted by Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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