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Gaza cease-fire unraveling amid renewed air attacks

A Palestinian protester throws a Molotov cocktail toward Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday. Palestinians have reacted to the death of a 64-year-old prisoner in Israel on Tuesday.

Associated Press

A Palestinian protester throws a Molotov cocktail toward Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday. Palestinians have reacted to the death of a 64-year-old prisoner in Israel on Tuesday.

JERUSALEM — A fragile cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas looked shakier Wednesday with the resumption of rocket attacks into southern Israel and a retaliatory airstrike into the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Air Force.

Though no injuries were reported in any of the attacks Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the violence ended one of the longest lulls along that border in recent memory.

Tuesday night's Israeli airstrike was the first in Gaza since the truce that ended an eight-day offensive last November. That clash killed 168 Palestinians and six Israelis.

The Israeli strike, which officials said hit Palestinian militant positions in northern Gaza, followed the firing of two projectiles into Israel earlier in the day.

After the Israeli strike, militants fired two more rockets early Wednesday, hitting the Israeli town of Sderot, officials said.

It marked the fourth time since the November cease-fire agreement that militants have fired at Israel.

The latest Palestinian attack appeared to have been triggered by the death of Hamas prisoner Maysara abu Hamdieh, 64, who died of throat cancer in an Israeli hospital. Palestinian officials accused Israel of failing to provide adequate medical treatment and release Hamdieh sooner when it became clear his condition was terminal.

Kerry to embark again

Evoking the U.S. shuttle diplomacy of decades past, Secretary of State John Kerry is making his third trip to the Middle East in just two weeks in a fresh bid to restart long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Though expectations are low for any breakthrough on Kerry's trip, which begins Saturday, his meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders represent some of the Obama administration's most sustained efforts at engagement.

Associated Press

Gaza cease-fire unraveling amid renewed air attacks 04/03/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 10:56pm]
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