Gaza Strip: Israel continues strikes, Hamas rejects truce calls
Israeli soldiers shot and critically wounded two Hamas fighters, Hamas officials and medics said. The clash followed a series of Israeli air strikes overnight against Hamas targets.
According to Reuters, Hamas said soldiers used artillery fire against gunmen who had shot mortars toward Israel, in southern Gaza, before dawn. Medics said both were taken to hospital where they were listed in critical condition.
An Israel military spokeswoman confirmed Palestinians had fired mortars from Gaza but not that soldiers had opened fire in return. "We don't know of any artillery or tank fire" by soldiers in the area, the spokeswoman said. The Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed there were four air strikes late on Sunday.
Hamas rejected a bid by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday to call a new truce to end the cycle of bloodshed. "We will not surrender, we will not raise the white flag," Ayman Taha, a spokesman for Hamas, said. "Hamas rejects giving a calm for free and Hamas rejects a calm that does not cover the West Bank too," Taha added.