Fighting has resumed in Gaza after a 72-hour ceasefire came to a close with Hamas firing rockets and Israel using tanks, gun boats, and missiles strikes to hit targets within Gaza.
Sources say that a Palestinian boy was killed in the early hours of the renewed bombardment.
Israel had offered to extend the truce, but Hamas said Israel had failed to meets its demand of ending the seven year blockade of impoverished territory and rejected Israel’s demand for the demilitarisation of Gaza.
Israel has also hardened its negotiation position and said that they will not negotiate while Hamas continues firing rockets into Israel. Israeli Prime Minister’s spokesperson Ofir Gendelman tweeted:
“Israel will not negotiate under fire. Israel will act to protect its citizens while making every effort not to harm civilians in Gaza.”
Many Palestinians, who had returned to pick up the pieces of their homes during the ceasefire, fled their homes in Gaza City as the ceasefire ended.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July, originally to stop the rockets being fired over the border by Hamas, but the operation soon evolved to also include destroying a network of Hamas-built tunnels beneath Gaza.
At least 1,890 Palestinians, mostly civilians have been killed in the four-week conflict, as well as 64 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians.
Before the violence resumed, Amnesty International called for an immediate investigation into “mounting evidence that the Israel Defense Forces launched apparently deliberate attacks against hospitals and health professionals in Gaza, which have left six medics dead”.
Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International, said:
“The harrowing descriptions by ambulance drivers and other medics of the utterly impossible situation in which they have to work, with bombs and bullets killing or injuring their colleagues as they try to save lives, paint a grim reality of life in Gaza.
“Even more alarming is the mounting evidence that the Israeli army has targeted health facilities or professionals. Such attacks are absolutely prohibited by international law and would amount to war crimes. They only add to the already compelling argument that the situation should be referred to the International Criminal Court.”