Despite the fact that the Palestinian factions, including the Hamas movement, in Gaza declared a ceasefire with Israel starting Thursday midnight, the Israeli army bombarded several areas, and carried out a number of aerial attacks in Gaza. The decision was made follow talks between different Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, and talks held by the Hamas-led government in Gaza with a number of Arab and international parties.

The ministry of interior in Gaza said that the decision was made to curb any future Israeli assaults against Gaza.

The Israeli strikes were resumed on Thursday afternoon after a Palestinian shell hit a bus in southern Israel seriously wounding one student.

The al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack and stated that it came in retaliation to the assassination of three Qassam leaders identified as Ismail Lubbad, Abdullah Lubbad, and Mohammad al-Dahya.

The three were killed in an Israeli Air Strike in Khan Younis in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

On Thursday, the army killed three Palestinians in Gaza and wounded more than 40 others, including children.

Nabil Abu Rodeina, spokesperson of President Mahmoud Abbas, said that the escalation against Gaza is unjustified and that Abbas contacted several world leaders urging them to intervene.

Updated From
Five Palestinians Killed, 40 Injured By Israeli Missiles In Gaza
Friday April 08, 2011 00:33 Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Thursday that five Palestinians were killed and at least 40 residents, including children, were wounded in several Israeli air strikes and a ground attacks that were initiated on Thursday at noon.

A fighter of the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas movement, was killed when the army bombarded Al Shouka area, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The fighter was identified as Saleh Al Tarabeen.

Three residents, identified as Mohammad Al Mahmoum, 22, Mos’ab Al Soufy, 17, and Khaled Ad-Dabary, 23, were killed when the army bombarded Al Jaradat area in Rafah.

On Thursday at noon, resident Mahmoud Al Manasra, 50, was killed, and at least five residents, including a child, were injured when the army fired more than 20 artillery shells into Al Shijaeyya neighborhood, east of Gaza City.

Furthermore, four Palestinians were moderately wounded when the army fired three shells into the Gaza International Airport in Rafah. The airport remains nonoperational since 2000, and was repeatedly bombarded and bulldozed by
the army.

The army also bombarded several homes east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip; causing damage; no injuries were reported.
One child was wounded by an Israeli artillery shell that hit Al-Qarara area, east of Khan Younis.

The Israeli Air Force fired missiles at a training camp using by the Al Qassam Brigades of Hamas in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and also bombarded an open area close to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.

In southern Gaza, the army fired a missile at a local ambulance causing damage and mildly wounding the driver.

Medical sources reported that another ambulance was targeted by the Israeli Air Force in Rafah, and that eight Palestinians, including children, were wounded.

Five Palestinians, including a journalist, identified as Mohammad Al Madhoun, were wounded when the army bombarded a Police training base west of Jabalia, in northern Gaza. The reporter was seriously wounded.

A Palestinian farmer was also wounded when the Israeli Air Force fired missiles into the Al Waha area, north west of Gaza city.

Several Air Strikes also targeted areas east of Dir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, and Al Hawouz area in addition to the Al Rantissi Base, north of Gaza, leading to excessive damage.

Visiting Cairo, Palestinian Chief Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, told the Maan News Agency that the Israeli threats and escalation jeopardize the security of the region, and that Israel must halt all of its violations against the Palestinian people.

Meanwhile, Israeli Army spokesperson, Avichai Adraee, told Maan that the army is evaluating the situation and could resort to a larger scale attack against Gaza.

He added that “what the army is conducting right now is only a routine operation that precedes a larger attack” likely to be carried out after the army and the political leadership in Israel evaluate the situation.

Adraee further stated that the Hamas movement is responsible for the latest escalation.

Also on Thursday, two Israelis, including a school student, were wounded when a shell fired from Gaza hit a school bus in southern Israel.

Furthermore, the Al Qassam Brigades of Hamas fired shells at the Sofa military base, near the Gaza border.

The Brigades said that attack comes in retaliation to the assassination of three fighters who were killed in an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli army chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, visited the military base and toured the area speaking to locals urging them to remain calm, adding that “the army will do whatever it can to ensure their security, even if this means a military operation against Gaza”.

Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, said that the army is acting against the attacks and will do whatever it can to ensure they stop.

He further stated that the Iron Dome system that was installed to intercept shells fired from Gaza is operational, but added that Israel cannot claim that the system provides full protection.

On Thursday night, approximately at 11, Palestinian factions in Gaza declared a ceasefire while Israeli tanks were seen moving towards the border area.