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Gaza ceasefire fails, Israel loses first civilian

Source: Reuters - Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:26 PM
Author: Reuters
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Sirens warn Israelis to take cover from rocket attacks.

But an ambulance siren tells a different tale.

For the first time in more than a week of fighting, an Israeli civilian is killed by a rocket fired from the Gaza strip.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PARAMEDIC WITH MAGEN DAVID AMBULANCE, URI SHACHAM, SAYING:

"Unfortunately 30 minutes ago an Israeli citizen working near Erez crossing border was hit by shrapnel due to a mortar attack on the crossing."

Hamas has claimed responsibility for launching the short-range rocket.

The Israeli military says around 80 rockets have been fired at Israel since the Hamas armed wing rejected a ceasefire just hours ago.

Now Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says they'll intensify their offensive.

(SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING:

"It would have been preferable to have solved this diplomatically, and this is what we tried to do when we accepted the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire, but Hamas leaves us no choice but to expand and intensify the campaign against it."

Gaza medical officials say the fighting has killed 188 Palestinians, including at least 150 civilians.

One man says he lost eight family members in an Israeli air strike.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOHAMMAD EL HAJ, WHOSE SISTER AND FAMILY WERE KILLED IN AN AIR STRIKE, SAYING:

"Imagine the feeling when someone carries his sister and her sons and daughters, who are children, 18, 16 and 14 years old - I carried them when their bodies were ripped apart. It was horrifying."

The conflict is far from over, with both sides citing demands that have not been met.

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