UK & World News

  • 10 August 2014, 4:36

Israeli Shells Pound Gaza As Fighting Resumes

Hamas has vowed it will not back down as Israel pounded Gaza with a fresh wave of strikes, killing nine Palestinians.

The Israeli military launched 30†airstrikes on Gaza on Saturday as talks to extend the temporary ceasefire stalled.

Palestinian health officials claim senior Hamas official Moaaz Zaid was among three Palestinians killed in an attack on a mosque.

The deaths bring the number of dead in the month-long conflict to nearly 1,900. The United Nations, which has condemned Israel's actions, says 1,354 of those killed have been civilians.

Israel has lost 64 soldiers during the conflict, while three civilians have died from rocket fire into the country.

The UK, France and Germany issued a joint declaration on Saturday urging Hamas and Israel to agree an immediate†ceasefire†in Gaza.

Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister of France and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister of Germany, said they fully support the efforts of Egypt to try to achieve a ceasefire.

On Saturday night, hopes the Egyptian could broker a new agreements looked set to stall when Israel said it had no plans to send negotiators back to Cairo "as long as the shooting goes on", an Israeli official told Reuters.

Palestinian negotiators said they would leave Cairo on Sunday unless Israel agreed to return to the Egyptian-mediated negotiations without setting conditions.

Israel says Hamas has fired six rockets across the border since the 72-hour ceasefire ended on Friday morning.

Hamas spokesman Fawzy Barhum said: "There will be no going back, the resistance will continue. The occupier's intransigence will get it nowhere and we will make no concessions on the demands of our people."

Britain announced it would send a team of NHS experts to help victims wounded in Gaza.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The conflict in Gaza has taken a terrible toll.

"The NHS has always stepped up to the plate to help those in need and this expert team will play a crucial role in helping hundreds caught up in this conflict."

The UK team consists of doctors, nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists and paramedics - and their specialities include trauma and plastic surgery.

And the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said its appeal for Gaza had raised £4.5m from the British public in less than 24 hours.

Mr Cameron is under increasing pressure to suspend arms exports from British manufacturers to Israeli forces following the resignation of foreign minister Baroness Warsi over the Government's line on Gaza this week.

Lady Warsi said the Government's approach had been "morally indefensible" and has stepped up her call for action to be taken.

In London protesters called for an end to the "massacre" in Gaza as they marched in Hyde Park.

The United States said it still hoped the three-day†ceasefire could be revived and Egypt, insisted negotiations were making progress.

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