Israel attempts hit on Hamas leader

Israel attempted to assassinate a Hamas leader as clashes between Hamas and Israel resumed, following Hamas rocket fire on Israel.

Israel and Hamas renewed clashes after Hamas launched a barrage of rockets across Israel late on Aug. 19. According to the Israel Defense Forces, Hamas fired 70 rockets at Israel in the initial 24-hour barrage. Israel responded with airstrikes on Gaza, killing 11 people, according to Hamas.

One of the Aug. 20 strikes targeted Muhammed Deif, the head of Hamas’ armed wing. Deif’s wife and son were killed in the strike, along with a third unidentified man, but Israel could not confirm that the body was Deif’s.

The renewed fighting ended indirect cease-fire talks in Cairo, as Israel recalled its negotiators after the Hamas rocket fire, which broke a 24-hour truce. Qatar reportedly pressured Hamas into rejecting Egypt’s cease-fire proposal, threatening to expel Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal if he accepted it. Palestinian sources blamed the breakdown in talks on Israel.

Early this week, Israel recalled 2,000 reservists who were sent home during an earlier truce. — jta