Israel resumed air strikes on Gaza early Wednesday after a 10-day lull, killing 11 Palestinians including the wife and infant son of Hamas’s military leader as ceasefire talks broke down in Cairo, taking the death toll in the deadly conflict to nearly 2,100.
The wife and child of Hamas militant Mohammed Deif, the chief of its armed wing, were reportedly killed in the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.
Israel said about 50 rockets had been fired from Gaza on Tuesday and another 20 on Wednesday, although no injuries have been reported.
The hostilities resumed hours before a temporary ceasefire was due to expire.
Talks in Egypt’s capital to end the violence broke up without a deal. Israeli delegates said they would return home.
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It was not known whether Deif had survived last night’s attack, although Hamas’ exiled deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuk was quoted as saying in Cairo that two of the victims were his wife and daughter, the BBC reported.
Deif, accused of ordering suicide bomb attacks in Israel several years ago, has survived a number of assassination attempts, which reportedly left him with severe disabilities.
Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar told army radio that he was a “legitimate target” and that if an opportunity arose to eliminate him, it should be taken.
Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said Israel had opened “the gates of hell” and would pay a heavy price.
Israel’s security cabinet was due to discuss the renewed violence later on Wednesday.
This morning, eight people – all believed to be from the same family – were also killed in an Israeli strike in central Gaza, Palestinian medics said.
In all, about 100 people have been wounded since the ceasefire ended, Palestinian officials say.
In Israel, sirens sounded in a number of cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The Israeli military said it had shot down a number of missiles fired from Gaza.
Officials say that 2,028 Palestinians and 66 Israelis have died since Israel began its offensive on Gaza on July 8.