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Israel kills 4 despite ceasefire, after 16 killed in hours before

Aug. 1, 2014 9:14 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 2, 2014 4:53 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Four Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces on Friday, only hours after a 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came into effect.

Ahmad Muhammad Hasanein, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza City, while the bodies of Bassel Diab al-Bsyuni, 37, and an unidentified man were brought to Kamal Adwan hospital as a result of Israeli fire.

Shadi Muhammad Jumaa Abu Daher, 29, from al-Mughraqa, was also killed by Israeli fire.

A Ma'an correspondent in Gaza said that three were wounded after Israeli artillery fired several shells east of Rafah, in what appears to have been the first violation of the ceasefire by Israeli forces about two hours in.

In the eastern Gaza Strip, meanwhile, Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian civilians who attempted to reach their homes in areas near the border.

After the Israeli attacks, sirens were heard at the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Israel, presumably as Palestinian militants fired rockets in response to the alleged Israeli violation.

Before the 72-hour ceasefire came into effect at 8 a.m., Israeli shelling on the Gaza Strip had already killed 16 Palestinians across the Gaza Strip since midnight.

The deaths brought the total since the beginning of the offensive to 1,461 and more than 8,400 injured, after hopes were raised that the three-day break in fighting could lead to a long-term end to Israel's 25-day assault that has displaced around 400,000 people, or 1 in 4 Gazans.

The ceasefire was announced early Friday by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that although forces would stay in place on the ground, the ceasefire was "critical" to giving civilians a "reprieve from the violence."

"During this period, civilians in Gaza will receive urgently needed humanitarian relief, and the opportunity to carry out vital functions, including burying the dead, taking care of the injured, and restocking food supplies," Kerry said.

During the ceasefire, both sides were expected to engage in talks in Cairo, and in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning Hamas and Islamic Jihad delegates were preparing to travel for the talks.

Palestinian sources said that the Hamas delegation from Gaza was composed of Khalil al-Hayya and Imad al-Alami, while Islamic Jihad leader Khalid al-Batsh will join Moussa Abu Marzouq, Izzat al-Rashq, Muhammad Nasser, and Ziyad al-Nikhala in Cairo.

As soon as the clock hit 8:00 a.m. on Friday, thousands of Palestinians took to streets in an attempt to get food and clean water after more than three weeks of Israeli bombardment, including two weeks of a ground assault that has killed more than 1,000.

Municipality and Civil Defense vehicles began cleaning out and opening streets closed by shelling, while others headed to areas that had been subject to intense shelling to look for bodies.

Mansour al-Khatib, the colonel for the Israeli Liaison at Erez, warned the more Palestinians who had fled their homes in border areas not to return during the ceasefire because "it could put their lives in danger" and might cause the Israeli army to shoot at them.

The Palestinian Civil Defense forces called upon people not to go to border areas to search for bodies without "coordinating with the Israeli army."

Killing continues until moments before ceasefire

Minutes before the ceasefire began the al-Qassam Brigades said they clashed with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza City, al-Quds Brigades targeted Tel Aviv and Israel targeted al-Kilani family house in al-Sabra in southern Gaza City.

A Ma'an reporter said that six Palestinians were killed and 15 were injured in Israeli shelling at eastern Khan Younis early Friday before the ceasefire came into effect.

The six were identified as Abdullah Awad al-Breim, Muhammad Suleiman al-Breim, Maysun Rafat al-Breim, Raid Abdulatif al-Qarra, Sami Suleiman al-Madani and Hussam Suleiman al-Madani.

Ministry of Health Spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra added that nine Palestinians of one family were killed and sixteen others were injured in shelling targeting al-Farra family house in Khan Younis.

Ashraf al-Qidra identified them as Abdulmalik Abdulsalam al-Farra, 54, his son Usama Abdulmalik al-Farra, 34, Imad Abdulhafiz al-Farra, 28, Awatef Izz al-Din al-Farra, 29, Muhammad Mahmoud al-Farra, 12, Lujain Bassem al-Farra, 4, Yara Abdulsalam al-Farra , 8, and Nadine Mahmoud al-Farra and later Abdulrahman al-Farra, 8, was pronounced dead when he succumbed to wounds he sustained during the shelling.

Medics said Samih Kamal Abu al-Khair, 63, was killed and five others were injured during shelling at Khan Younis city.

15 Palestinians were injured in Israeli shelling at al-Zaytoun in southern Gaza City while Israeli shelling targeted eastern al-Shujaiyya, Jabaliya refugee camp, eastern Khan Younis and several other shells targeted al-Nafaq Street in central Gaza City.

Israeli warplanes also destroyed the house of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh,, who was killed earlier in Jabaliya.

A Palestinian was injured in shelling targeting Kutkut family house in al-Faluja in Jabaliya, and three others were injured in shelling targeting a motorcycle in al-Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in western Gaza City.
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