Israel Vows to Increase Intensity of Attacks

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In response to Hamas' rejection of an Egyptian ceasefire agreement on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to increase the assault on Gaza. 

"Hamas chose to continue fighting and will pay the price for that decision," Netanyahu said in an address. "When there is no cease-fire, our answer is fire."

Israel halted military operations for six hours Tuesday morning despite continued rocket attacks from Gaza but resumed them when Hamas rejected the ceasefire. Since the truce, Hamas launched roughly 125 rockets, the Israeli military said.

Tuesday's continued violence also saw the first Israeli casualty of the conflict when a man in his 30's was killed near the Gaza border by shrapnel after a mortar attack. An estimated 200 Palestinians have died since the offensive began eight days ago.

"What the new reports of this death indicate is that this situation is not sustainable," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. "All eyes now turn to Hamas and the groups in the Palestinian territories firing rockets."

The Egyptian deal called for an immediate ceasefire without preconditions, followed by negotiations of a new border agreement addressing the Gaza strip where Egyptian and Israeli blockades have significantly damaged the economy. 

Hamas officials rejected the deal, noting they were never consulted on the details. There remains little incentive for Hamas to accept a plan that would not in some way improve their tenuous hold on Gaza, which the group took control of in 2007.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.