As Israel and Palestine continue hostilities into a third day, Hamas has called off its truce with Tel-Aviv. Meanwhile, Egypt, has recalled its ambassador from Israel after five Egyptian policemen were killed in an Israeli security operation.
The Israeli air force attacked several targets in the Gaza Strip overnight.
“Aircraft targeted two terror tunnels and a weapons storage facility in the southern Gaza Strip, as well as a terror activity site in the northern Gaza Strip,” the Israeli military said in a statement, adding that one tunnel was intended for the infiltration of terrorists into Israeli territory.
The statement added that the attacks were a response to the killing of eight Israelis by suspected Palestinian militants near the Egyptian border on Thursday, and to artillery fired from Gaza since then.
Israel’s continuing retaliation has infuriated the military wing of Hamas to the extent that it has withdrawn its commitment to a more than two-year de-facto ceasefire with Israel. The statement, aired on Hamas-controlled radio on early Saturday, said “There is no more truce with an enemy.”
On Saturday morning, a total of six Gazan rockets fell in Israel, with shrapnel from one of them injuring three men in the southern city of Ashdod, according to the Israeli military.
Palestinians say a total of 14 people were killed and over 40 wounded in Tel-Aviv’s air raids on Thursday and Friday. Overnight attacks did not add to these figures.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called for an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council in an effort to halt Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian media reported on Saturday.
The exchange of fire has been ongoing since Thursday, when eight Israelis died and over 40 were injured in a number of assaults near the southern Israeli city of Eilat, which is a popular holiday spot. Israeli forces hunting down the perpetrators killed at least seven of them at the Egyptian border.
The operation also resulted in deaths of five Egyptian policemen.
On Saturday, Egyptian State TV said Cairo was withdrawing its ambassador from Israel to protest at the deaths.
The statement caused Israeli diplomatic officials to hold internal discussions on Saturday, reported Agence France Presse news agency. The Israeli military has pledged to probe the incident and advise Egypt on its findings.
Meanwhile, the Arab League will host an urgent meeting on the Gaza attacks on Sunday.
Dr. Moustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian parliament, believes Israel is using the violence to distract from its internal problems and to hide its growing “diplomatic isolation.”
“Israel has been trying to provoke an escalation of violence regardless of the fact that all the Palestinian groups in Gaza, including Hamas, have been committed to ceasefire,” said Dr. Barghouti. “Regarding the attack in Eilat, all the groups in Gaza denied all the responsibility or relationship to it. This attack happened from the Sinai peninsula, which is under Egyptian control.”