Ma’an News Agency reports:
The military wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, has called off a ceasefire with Israel and will allow factions in Gaza to respond to Israeli attacks, Al-Aqsa Radio reported late Friday.
“There can be no truce with the Israeli occupation while it commits massacres against the Palestinian people without justification,” a representative of the militant group was quoted as saying.
Al-Qassam “calls on all factions to respond to the Israeli occupation’s crimes.”
Air attacks have killed at least 13 Palestinians in 24 hours, after Israeli leaders threatened to respond harshly to an operation Thursday near Eilat that left eight Israeli citizens dead.
Al Jazeera adds:
Israeli officials have blamed a Gaza-based militant group called the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) for Thursday’s attacks, although the faction has denied any involvement. The PRC is not affiliated with the Hamas movement that governs Gaza.
Three Palestinians including a 5-year-old boy were killed and 3 passersby were injured in an attack on a vehicle in central Gazas City. Al Jazeera’s Safwat Al Kahlout reported.
Previously, the latest air strike on the Gaza Strip hit Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza late Friday night, killing two men.
The Al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the militant Islamic Jihad, confirmed that one of the men, Emad Abu Abda, was their member. The other man’s identity and possible affiliations were not immediately known.
This was the Israeli air forces’ sixth operation since beginning their raids in retaliation for Thursday’s incidents.
Hours earlier, the Israeli air force targeted rocket launchers, “two weapons manufacturing sites in central Gaza” and “terrorist activity in the north and the south” of the strip”, the Israeli military told Al Jazeera.
Five members of the PRC, including its leader, were killed in Thursday’s overnight air strike in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah and another killed on Friday, Al Kahlout reported from Gaza.
Abu Mujahid, a PRC spokesman, has said the group vows to take revenge “against everything and everyone” for its members’ deaths.
Medical sources said at least three civilians have also been killed, including two boys aged three and 13 who died early on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports:
As Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants continued to clash Friday, Egypt expressed anger over the deaths of three of its soldiers apparently killed by Israeli helicopters pursuing militants across the Israel-Egyptian border a day earlier.
The incident threatened to destabilize relations between Israel and Egypt, already tense in the wake of the overthrow in February of Hosni Mubarak as Egyptian president.
The Egyptian government submitted a formal protest to Israel and called for an urgent probe into the deaths of the soldiers, the Egyptian state news agency MENA said. Egypt also closed until further notice the Al Awja crossing between Egypt and Israel, used for the passage of trade and exports, MENA said.
Egyptian voices outside the government also condemned the Israeli action.
“The Zionist attacks that killed three Egyptian soldiers on Thursday need a different response than the pre-Jan. 25 revolution period,” said Saad el Katatni, General Secretary of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, referring to the popular protests that brought down Mubarak. “Zionists should realize that Egyptian blood now has a price, and it’s a very high price after the success of our blessed revolution.”