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Israeli forces kill man in Deir al-Balah, shell eastern Rafah

July 26, 2014 10:25 P.M. (Updated: July 28, 2014 11:24 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot a man dead and shelled the southern Gaza Strip late Saturday, amid reports that a humanitarian ceasefire had been extended for four hours until midnight.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, said in a statement that Naem Abd al-Aziz Abu Thaher, 36, was shot dead by Israeli forces in eastern Deir al-Balah.

A Ma'an reporter in Gaza said that Israeli forces had also shelled an area east of Rafah.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was unaware of any new strikes on Gaza.

The attacks came after Israeli media reported that officials had agreed to extend a humanitarian truce for four hours. The truce was initially scheduled to end at 8:00 p.m., but was to be extended until midnight.

There was no formal announcement for the extension of the ceasefire, and Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Islamist movement had not been consulted about the extension.

Meanwhile, al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that it targeted Tel Aviv with two M75 rockets at 8:40 p.m, 40 minutes after the end of the official ceasefire period.

Militants also fired rockets at Nahal Oz, the statement said.

Minutes after the official ceasefire expired, Israeli media reported that mortar shells hit open areas in Eshkol Regional Council.

Additionally, rocket sirens were heard in various towns in southern Israel.

Another rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome over Kiryat Ekron in central Israel.

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza rose to well over 1,000 on Saturday, as search teams recovered bodies from destroyed buildings during the brief ceasefire.

Some 151 bodies were recovered during the 12-hour window, according to the Ministry of Health.

Nearly 6,000 Palestinians have been injured in the offensive.

Forty Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza, and three civilians have been killed by militant groups' attacks on Israel.
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