Israeli fire kills 18 in Gaza after truce collapse

Palestinian rescuers clear the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on Aug. 19. AFP Photo / Mohammed Abed

Eighteen Palestinians have been killed and 120 wounded by Israeli strikes across Gaza since the collapse of a temporary truce, medics said on Aug. 20.        

Among the dead were the wife and infant son of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, who died in a strike late on Aug. 19 which levelled a six-storey house in northern Gaza City, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.        

"The wife of the great leader was martyred with his daughter," in a strike, Hamas's exiled deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuk wrote on Facebook while saying nothing about the fate of Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades commander Mohammed Deif himself.

The latest violence raised the overall death toll in Gaza to more than 2,030, with at least 10,300 people wounded, Qudra said.  

The Israeli military said it hit "more than 25 targets" in Gaza Tuesday but would not elaborate. Tuesday's deaths of the woman and a two-year-old girl were the first as a result of Israeli air raids in Gaza since August 10.

Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said Israel had "opened the gates of hell on itself" by the killings and warned that the Jewish state would "pay the price for its crimes."       

A 24-hour truce due to last until midnight (2100 GMT) collapsed late Aug. 19 afternoon, with each side blaming the other. The al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that it fired 34 rockets into Israel throughout Tuesday, hitting Tel Aviv and the southern city of Beersheva.        

An Israeli military statement put the number fired at "about 50"  but reported no casualties. "A rocket hit an open area in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area," it said and confirmed that  two rockets landed near Beersheva, which is home...

Continue reading on: