Conflict & Justice

Israel launches air strikes on Gaza hours after militants call truce (VIDEO)


A Palestinian man mourns outside the al-Najar hospital in Rafah on October 30, 2011.


Said Khatib

An Israeli air strike has killed a Gaza militant just hours after Islamic Jihad — an armed group linked to Hamas, which controls Gaza — vowed to observe an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire following a day of violence.

(GlobalPost reports: Israel-Gaza truce on cards after deadly weekend)

In the most deadly exchange of rocket fire since a prisoner exchange between the two sides, at least 10 Palestinians have been killed since Saturday in Israeli air strikes.

(Read more on GlobalPost: Gilad Shalit back in Israel after prisoner swap (VIDEO)

The strikes were in retaliation for more than 40 rockets fired from Gaza since Wednesday, one of which killed an Israeli man in the city of Ashkelon. Israel says all of the 10 killed by its warplanes in Gaza were involved in launching rockets or mortars into Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said while he was not seeking an escalation in hostilities, anyone trying to attack Israel was taking their life in their hands, The New York Times reports.

Hamas, for its part, has largely maintained the fragile cease-fire that went into effect after Israel ended its three-week military offensive in Gaza in early 2009.

However, Netanyahu blamed Hamas for the outbreak of violence, Australia's ABC reports.

"Hamas rules Gaza, they are responsible for Gaza, they are responsible for preventing rocket fire from Gaza and for keeping the calm in Gaza, even if the attackers are from Islamic Jihad," he said.

Israel, CNN reports, did not confirmed a cease-fire deal, announced by Islamic Jihad hours after the Israeli Air Force struck sites it suspected to be "terror centers" Sunday.

Islamic Jihad, meantime, said it would "cooperate with the cease-fire, but maintains our right to resist the aggression," a spokesman for the military wing of the group told CNN.

Egypt said it had helped to broker a truce, but talks broke down within hours after Israel launched a new air strike on Palestinians, the ABC reports. The Israeli attack came eight hours after the cease-fire was called, according to Agence France-Presse.