An eruption of violence in the Middle East has disrupted a truce declared in June along Israel’s border with Gaza.
Hamas vowed vengeance after Israeli forces killed six Palestinian militants. The Islamist group has fired dozens of rockets at Israel, including salvoes that landed in Ashkelon. Israel says it entered Gaza to destroy a tunnel intended for use in abducting its troops.
“Hamas, over the last 24 hours, has led to an escalation in the situation in the south, violence that no-one wanted to see,” said Israeli government spokesman, Mark Regev.
“There was an aggressive move by Hamas to try to kidnap more Israeli soldiers.”
The rocket fire caused no serious casualties in the Israeli coastal city. US President-elect Barack Obama has said resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be a priority for his administration.
The latest violence provides a reminder that that task will be anything but easy.