Jerusalem: Israel resumed a punishing air campaign against Gaza Tuesday after its Palestinian foe Hamas rejected a truce and fired dozens of rockets over the border, killing an Israeli for the first time.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the army would “expand and intensify” its Gaza operation after Hamas rejected the Egyptian truce proposal.
The renewed Israeli strikes killed five Palestinians, raising the Gaza death toll in eight days of violence to 197, medics said.
An Israeli man was killed in a rocket attack on an Israeli position near the Erez crossing with Gaza, the army said.
Hamas’s Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades armed wing said it carried out the attack.
The civilian had been delivering food to soldiers serving in the area, a spokesman for the Israeli emergency services told AFP.
Police later named him as Dror Hanin, 37, of the West Bank settlement Beit Aryeh.
The first Israeli death of the conflict came after nearly 1,000 rockets and mortar rounds hit the Jewish state. Four Israelis have been seriously wounded.
Early Tuesday, Israel’s security cabinet said it would accept an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire to begin at 0600 GMT.
But Hamas officials said they had not been consulted on the proposal and would not halt fire without a full-fledged deal including Israeli concessions.
The movement’s armed wing continued to fire dozens of rockets into Israel after the truce deadline, sending tens of thousands scrambling for cover.
At 1200 GMT, the Israeli army announced it was resuming air strikes, after militants fired 47 rockets from Gaza.
The fresh raids hit Gaza City, southern Khan Yunis, Rafah and central Johr al-Deeq, and killed five people.