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Gaza violence renews after truce talks

The violence broke 34 hours of calm, after a violent weekend in which Palestinians in Gaza fired 37 rockets at Israel and the IDF hit 95 military targets in the Hamas ruled enclave.
By Tovah Lazaroff
An IDF aircraft struck a terror cell of three that attempted to infiltrate the southern border on Sunday night, just one day after the Islamic Jihad declared that a truce had been reached with Israel.

The men had placed an explosive device by the barrier, the IDF said. Palestinian media reported that three people had been killed in the strike, with initial reports that they could have been minors.The violence broke 34 hours of calm, after a violent weekend in which Palestinians in Gaza fired 37 rockets at Israel and the IDF hit 95 military targets in the Hamas ruled enclave.

On Saturday the Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab stated: "After contacts between the Islamic Jihad leadership and the brothers in Egypt it was agreed that a comprehensive ceasefire will begin immediately.”

He added, ”The Islamic Jihad will abide by the ceasefire if the occupation (Israel) does the same.”

In spite of that statement, Channel 2 reported that Hamas had told Israel it would halt the Gaza violence only in exchange for a monthly payment of $15 million in cash.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected that demand.“Yesterday we heard about an 'ultimatum' from Hamas to Israel. At no stage will Israel accept any ultimatum from Hamas. Israel will continue to act in accordance with Israeli interests and for Israel's security alone."

But Israel has held off from launching a military offensive to halt the violence, nor has it halted the flow of goods and fuel into the Strip.

The security cabinet which met Sunday did not issue any public statements.

Together with the UN, it has worked to alleviate the electricity crisis there by helping to facilitate the shipment of Qatari funded fuel into Gaza for its power plant.

As a result of those efforts the 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, can receive eight hours of electricity a day instead of four.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process tweeted on Sunday, “As #Gaza’s Power Plant runs 3rd turbine, people see electricity supply increase to 8 hrs. An opportunity that must not be wasted to de-escalate, resolve all #humanitarian issues and reunite #Palestinians under a single, democratic, national government.”
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