1st LD Writethru: Israeli airstrike kills three children in Gaza hours after short truce
GAZA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Three Palestinian children were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City a few hours after a short humanitarian truce ended on Thursday, medical sources said.
Health ministry official Ashraf al-Qedra told Xinhua that the three kids killed in the airstrike belong to one family.
The air raid came shortly after Israel and Hamas observed a five-hour humanitarian truce proposed by the United Nations.
Death toll in Gaza climbed to 234 people since Israel started the "Operation Protective Edge" on July 8 in a bid to end rocket fire by Hamas.
Despite the intensive Israeli bombardment, rockets from Gaza are launched on daily basis, reaching more remote key cities in Israel.
Serious international and regional discussions have been held in recent days to reach a ceasefire in Gaza. But no positive results have been achieved yet.
Meanwhile, witnesses and Hamas movement's news websites reported on Thursday that Israeli war jets carried out fur successive airstrikes on various targets in the Gaza Strip.
Also on Thursday, Hamas movement denied reports coming from Egypt that a long-term truce was reached between Gaza Strip's militant groups and Israel during talks held in Cairo earlier in the day.
Earlier on Thursday, an Israeli official was cited by the BBC as saying that an agreement would come into effect starting from 06:00 local time (0300 GMT) on Friday, following incessant mediation attempts in Egypt.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Spokesman Mark Regev refused to confirm or deny the report. Hamas has also denied such an agreement was reached as of Thursday afternoon, the Walla news website reported.
Hamas spokesman in Gaza Sami Abu Zuhri said in a press statement emailed to reporters that nothing new on reaching a permanent ceasefire, adding "all what was published on reaching a ceasefire starting on Friday is untrue."