Hamas Ends De-Facto Truce with Israel
The Izzedine al Qassam brigades, Hamas's armed wing, announced Saturday an end to a more than two-year de-facto ceasefire with Israel.
"There is no longer any truce with the enemy," the organization said in a statement broadcast over a Hamas radio station early on Saturday, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Hamas, which controls the Palestinian government in Gaza, has maintained a de-facto truce with Israel since the end of the three-week Gaza War that began in late 2008, at the same time carrying out attacks targeting Israelis in response to what it has described as acts of Israeli aggression.
Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, according to a report of CNN.
The August 20 announcement came in response to two days of Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.
At least 14 Palestinians have been killed and 30 injured in the past 24 hours by attacks from Israeli jets, and four Israelis have been injured by rockets fired into Israel from Gaza, according to Al Jazeera.
The casualties are a result of exchanged attacks following a series of deadly assaults by gunmen who targeted two buses, a car and an army vehicle in the area north of Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat on Thursday.
Eight Israelis, including six civilians and two soldiers, were killed that day alongside seven of the attackers, among which were two suicide bombers who detonated near a bus and during a confrontation with soldiers. Over 40 Israelis were also wounded, local media reported.
Hamas denied Thursday accusations that it was the source of the deadly attacks in southern Israel.
Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, said earlier in a statement that "The real source of the terror is in Gaza and we will act against them with full force and determination."
Israel and Palestinians militants in Gaza have been at odds for years, with Israel suffering numerous terror attacks over the period.
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