*** ----> Israel and Hamas trade strikes as Palestinian toll mounts | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Israel and Hamas trade strikes as Palestinian toll mounts

AFP | Jerusalem                                                        

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Israel and Hamas brushed off international calls to renew an expired truce yesterday as air strikes pounded targets in Gaza and Palestinian groups launched volleys of rockets. Smoke again clouded the sky over the north of the Palestinian territory, whose Hamas government said 240 people had been killed since a pause in hostilities expired early Friday and combat resumed.

In Israel, the military's Home Front Command reported 40 missile alerts in the south and centre of the country, and the Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced "rocket barrages" against multiple Israeli cities and towns, including Tel Aviv.

"Over 250 rockets have been fired at Israel since Friday morning," Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told reporters. According to the United Nations, an estimated 1.7 million people in Gaza—more than two-thirds of the population—have been displaced by eight weeks of war.

After the truce between Israel and Hamas expired on Friday, Israel told NGOs not to bring aid convoys across the Rafah border crossing from Egypt, the Palestine Red Crescent Society had said.But on Saturday, the charity said its Egyptian colleagues had managed to send over a number of trucks.