Israel: Hamas to pay price for its 'no' to truce

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Israel: Hamas to pay price for its 'no' to truce
Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki attends an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on July 15, 2014 to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip on day 7 of a deadly Israeli offensive against the Palestinian enclave aimed at halting militant rocket attacks. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A general view shows an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on July 15, 2014 to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip on day 7 of a deadly Israeli offensive against the Palestinian enclave aimed at halting militant rocket attacks. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki attends an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on July 15, 2014 to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip on day 7 of a deadly Israeli offensive against the Palestinian enclave aimed at halting militant rocket attacks. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo taken on July 15, 2014 from the southern Israeli Gaza border shows Israeli army flares falling into the Palestinian enclave. Israel's security cabinet was to meet early on July 15 to discuss Egyptian proposals for a truce in Gaza, a senior official said, as an aerial campaign against Hamas entered its eighth day. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo taken on July 15, 2014 from the southern Israeli Gaza border shows Israeli army flares falling into the Palestinian enclave. Israel's security cabinet was to meet early on July 15 to discuss Egyptian proposals for a truce in Gaza, a senior official said, as an aerial campaign against Hamas entered its eighth day. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo taken on July 15, 2014 from the southern Israeli Gaza border shows Israeli army flares falling into the Palestinian enclave. Israel's security cabinet was to meet early on July 15 to discuss Egyptian proposals for a truce in Gaza, a senior official said, as an aerial campaign against Hamas entered its eighth day. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian protester clashes with an Israeli soldier at the Israeli maned checkpoint at the entrance of the northern Palestinian city of Nablus, in the occupied West Bank on July 14, 2014, as they demonstrate against the ongoing Israeli air campaign against Gaza militants which has risen to 176, a quarter of the victims children, a UN official said. AFP PHOTO/JAAFAR ASHTIYEH (Photo credit should read JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian protesters clash with an Israeli soldiers at the Israeli maned checkpoint at the entrance of the northern Palestinian city of Nablus, in the occupied West Bank on July 14, 2014, as they demonstrate against the ongoing Israeli air campaign against Gaza militants which has risen to 176, a quarter of the victims children, a UN official said. AFP PHOTO/JAAFAR ASHTIYEH (Photo credit should read JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian mourners gather outside a house after the bodies of Mousa Abu Muamer, 56, and his son Saddam, 27, who were killed in an overnight Israeli missile strike at their house on the outskirts of the town of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, were brought in during their funeral procession, Monday, July 14, 2014. Saddam's wife Hanadi, 27, was also killed in the attack. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
FILE - In this file photo taken July 8, 2014, an Israeli missile explodes on impact in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Israel says its punishing air assault on Hamas militants, their property and their weaponry has delivered a devastating blow to the Islamic militant group. Yet rocket fire at Israel has continued almost unabated. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba, File)
FILE - In this file photo taken July 9, 2014, Israeli missiles hit smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Israel says its punishing air assault on Hamas militants, their property and their weaponry has delivered a devastating blow to the Islamic militant group. Yet rocket fire at Israel has continued almost unabated. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali, File)
FILE - In this file photo taken July 5, 2014, an Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket from Gaza Strip in the costal city of Ashkelon, Israel. Israel says its punishing air assault on Hamas militants, their property and their weaponry has delivered a devastating blow to the Islamic militant group. Yet rocket fire at Israel has continued almost unabated. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)
Two Lebanese men carry a fake missile to protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, as they take part in a sit-in, in front the United Nations headquarters, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday July 13, 2014. Israel briefly deployed ground troops inside the Gaza Strip for the first time early Sunday as its military warned northern Gaza residents to evacuate their homes, part of a widening offensive that has killed more than 160 Palestinians. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
An Israeli armored personnel drives along the Israel and Gaza border, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Israel briefly deployed ground troops inside the Gaza Strip for the first time early Sunday as its military warned northern Gaza residents to evacuate their homes, part of a widening offensive that has killed more than 160 Palestinians. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Palestinian firefighters try to extinguish a cargo terminal at Karni Crossing between Israel and Gaza after it was shelled by Israeli tanks, according to terminal's employees, Saturday, July 12, 2014. Palestinian officials said Israeli airstrike hit a group of people sitting in front of a closed shop killing several, raising the Palestinian death toll to more than 120 during an Israeli offensive that showed no signs of slowing down. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Press photographers take pictures as Israeli soldiers clean the barrel of their mobile artillery unit after it fired shells towards Gaza, at a position on the Israel-Gaza border, Saturday, July 12, 2014. Israeli airstrikes overnight targeting Hamas in Gaza hit a mosque its military says concealed the militant group's weapons, in an offensive that showed no signs of slowing down. Israel launched its campaign five days ago to stop relentless rocket fire on its citizens. While there have been no fatalities in Israel, Palestinian officials said overnight attacks raised the death toll there to over 120, with more than 920 wounded. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli soldiers on armored personnel carriers move to a new position on the Israel-Gaza Border, Saturday, July 12, 2014. Israeli airstrikes overnight targeting Hamas in Gaza hit a mosque its military says concealed the militant group's weapons, in an offensive that showed no signs of slowing down. Israel launched its campaign five days ago to stop relentless rocket fire on its citizens. While there have been no fatalities in Israel, Palestinian officials said overnight attacks raised the death toll there to over 120, with more than 920 wounded. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli soldiers on a mobile artillery unit fire a shell towards Gaza at a position on the Israel-Gaza border, Saturday, July 12, 2014. Israeli airstrikes overnight targeting Hamas in Gaza hit a mosque its military says concealed the militant group's weapons, in an offensive that showed no signs of slowing down. Israel launched its campaign five days ago to stop relentless rocket fire on its citizens. While there have been no fatalities in Israel, Palestinian officials said overnight attacks raised the death toll there to over 120, with more than 920 wounded. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli infantry soldiers walk to their armored personnel carriers to move to a new position on the Israel Gaza border, Saturday, July 12, 2014. Israeli airstrikes overnight targeting Hamas in Gaza hit a mosque its military says concealed the militant group's weapons, in an offensive that showed no signs of slowing down. Israel launched its campaign five days ago to stop relentless rocket fire on its citizens. While there have been no fatalities in Israel, Palestinian officials said overnight attacks raised the death toll there to over 120, with more than 920 wounded. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli soldiers on a mobile artillery unit fire a shell towards Gaza at a position on the Israel-Gaza border, Saturday, July 12, 2014. Israeli airstrikes overnight targeting Hamas in Gaza hit a mosque its military says concealed the militant group's weapons, in an offensive that showed no signs of slowing down. Israel launched its campaign five days ago to stop relentless rocket fire on its citizens. While there have been no fatalities in Israel, Palestinian officials said overnight attacks raised the death toll there to over 120, with more than 920 wounded. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli soldiers on armored personnel carriers move to new positions on the Israel-Gaza Border, Saturday, July 12, 2014. Israeli airstrikes targeting Hamas in Gaza overnight hit a mosque its military says concealed the militant group's weapons, in an offensive that showed no signs of slowing down. Israel launched its campaign five days ago to stop relentless rocket fire on its citizens. While there have been no fatalities in Israel, Palestinian officials said overnight attacks raised the death toll there to over 120, with more than 920 wounded. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An Israeli soldier leans on the barrel of the gun of a mobile artillery unit at a position on the Israel-Gaza border, Friday, July 11, 2014. Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station and set it ablaze Friday in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person as rocket fire also came from Lebanon for the first time in the four-day-long offensive. Rocket fire by Palestinian militants continued from Gaza toward various locations in southern Israel. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An Israeli soldier sleeps on a truck behind mobile artillery unit shells at a position on the Israel-Gaza border, Friday, July 11, 2014. Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station and set it ablaze Friday in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person as rocket fire also came from Lebanon for the first time in the four-day-long offensive. Rocket fire by Palestinian militants continued from Gaza toward various locations in southern Israel. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli army tanks are seen at a staging area on the Israel-Gaza border, Friday, July 11, 2014. Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station and set it ablaze Friday in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person as rocket fire also came from Lebanon for the first time in the four-day-long offensive. Rocket fire by Palestinian militants continued from Gaza toward various locations in southern Israel. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An Israeli soldier sleeps on a mobile artillery unit at a position on the Israel-Gaza border, Friday, July 11, 2014. Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station and set it ablaze Friday in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person as rocket fire also came from Lebanon for the first time in the four-day-long offensive. Rocket fire by Palestinian militants continued from Gaza toward various locations in southern Israel. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A woman runs for cover as sirens are heard in the southern Israeli port city of Ashdod during a rocket attack by Palestinian militants from the neighboring Gaza Strip on July 17, 2014. Fighting between Israel and Hamas resumed in deadly earnest today after a brief humanitarian ceasefire allowed Gaza residents to restock and hunker down, and as efforts towards a lasting truce intensified. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers smile as they ride on a military vehicle near the Israel-Gaza Border, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Israel and Hamas have begun observing a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire, as fighting extended into a 10th day. The two sides agreed to the pause following a request by the United Nations so that supplies could be delivered to Gaza.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
An Israeli tank takes a position along the Israel-Gaza Border, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Israel and Hamas have begun observing a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire, as fighting extended into a 10th day. The two sides agreed to the pause following a request by the United Nations so that supplies could be delivered to Gaza.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
An Israeli tank maneuvers to take a position along the Israel-Gaza Border, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Israel and Hamas have begun observing a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire, as fighting extended into a 10th day. The two sides agreed to the pause following a request by the United Nations so that supplies could be delivered to Gaza.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Left wing Israelis hold signs as they participate in a demonstration against the Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip, in Jerusalem, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Fierce fighting between Israel and Hamas resumed Thursday, including an airstrike that killed three Palestinian children feeding pigeons on their roof, after a temporary cease-fire that allowed Gazans to stock up on supplies. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Left wing Israelis hold signs as they participate in a demonstration against the Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip, in Jerusalem, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Fierce fighting between Israel and Hamas resumed Thursday, including an airstrike that killed three Palestinian children feeding pigeons on their roof, after a temporary cease-fire that allowed Gazans to stock up on supplies. Hebrew on sign reads: "Stop the fighting." (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
An Israeli tank takes a position along near the Israel-Gaza Border, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Israel and Hamas have begun observing a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire, as fighting extended into a 10th day. The two sides agreed to the pause following a request by the United Nations so that supplies could be delivered to Gaza.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
An Israeli tank takes a position along the Israel-Gaza Border, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Israel and Hamas have begun observing a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire, as fighting extended into a 10th day. The two sides agreed to the pause following a request by the United Nations so that supplies could be delivered to Gaza.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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By Karin Laub and Aron Heller

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israel resumed its heavy bombardment of Gaza on Tuesday and warned that Hamas "would pay the price" after the Islamic militant group rejected an Egyptian truce plan and instead unleashed more rocket barrages at the Jewish state, causing the first Israeli death in eight days of fighting.

In Gaza, 194 people were killed and more than 1,400 wounded so far, Palestinian health officials said, making it the deadliest confrontation between Israel and Hamas in just over five years.

The Egyptian proposal, initially accepted by Israel, had been the first attempt to end the fighting.

It unraveled in less than a day, a sign that it will be harder than before to reach a truce. Hamas does not consider Egypt's current rulers - who deposed a Hamas-friendly government in Cairo a year ago - to be fair brokers.

Violence is bound to escalate in coming days.

Hamas believes it has little to lose by continuing to fight, while a truce on unfavorable terms could further weaken its grip on the Gaza Strip, a territory it seized in 2007. Underscoring that position, Gaza militants fired more than 120 rockets and mortar rounds at Israel on Tuesday, during what Egypt had hoped would be a period of de-escalation.

A particularly heavy barrage came around dusk, with more than 40 rockets hitting Israel in just a few minutes, including one that fell on an empty school. TV footage showed children cowering behind a wall in Tel Aviv's main square as sirens went off. An Israeli man in his 30s was killed near the Gaza border when he was delivering food to soldiers - the first Israeli death.

Hamas' defiance prompted Israeli warnings. In an evening address aired live on TV, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that after Hamas' rejection of the truce, Israel had "no choice" but to respond more forcefully.

"Hamas chose to continue fighting and will pay the price for that decision," he said. "When there is no cease-fire, our answer is fire."

After holding its fire for six hours, the Israeli air force resumed its heavy bombardment of Gaza, launching 33 strikes from midafternoon, the military said. In all, Israeli aircraft struck close to 1,700 times since July 8, while Gaza militants fired more than 1,200 rockets at Israel.

Netanyahu said Israel would have liked to see a diplomatic solution, but would keep attacking until rocket fire stops and Hamas' military capabilities are diminished. The Israeli leader said he would "widen and increase" the campaign against Hamas, but it remains unclear if that will include a ground offensive.

Israel has warned it might send troops into Gaza and has massed thousands of soldiers on the border. However, entering Gaza would likely drive up casualties on both sides. Israel has hesitated in the past to embark on ground operations for fear of getting entangled in the densely populated territory of 1.7 million.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Israel has the right to defend itself, but that "no one wants to see a ground war."

"Our effort remains focused on seeing if we can return to a cease-fire," she said.

The current round has been the deadliest since a major Israeli military offensive in the winter of 2008-09. The previous outbreak of cross-border violence, in 2012, eventually ended with the help of Egypt, at the time seen as a trusted broker by Hamas.

Hamas officials Tuesday rejected the current Egyptian plan as is, noting they weren't consulted by Cairo. Some portrayed the truce offer as an ultimatum presented to Hamas by Israel and Egypt.

The officials said the Egyptian plan offered no tangible achievements, particularly on easing the border blockade that has been enforced by Israel and Egypt to varying degrees since 2007. Egypt tightened the closure in the past year by shutting down smuggling tunnels that were crucial for Gaza's economy, pushing Hamas into a severe financial crisis.

"The siege on Gaza must be broken, and the people of Gaza should live freely like other people of the world," Moussa Abu Marzouk, a top Hamas official, told the Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen. "There should be a new equation so that we will not have a war on Gaza every two years."

Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas leader in Gaza, said the movement wants additional mediators and international guarantees of any deal.

"Mediation to end this aggression needs to come from different countries, and the guarantees should be given by different countries in order to commit the occupation (Israel) to what any future agreement might say," al-Masri said, without naming preferred brokers.

Qatar and Turkey, seen as more sympathetic to Hamas, have been involved behind the scenes, but it's not clear to what extent. The emir of Qatar visited Turkey for talks Tuesday with Turkish leaders.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas' main political rival, was to meet Wednesday in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and then fly to Turkey for high-level talks.

Before the latest fighting, Abbas had reached a tentative unity deal with Hamas that would have given him a new foothold in Gaza. However, a significant easing of the Gaza blockade in a truce deal would revitalize Hamas, make it less dependent on Abbas and possibly scuttle the unity agreement.

Abbas and his Western-backed Palestinian Authority have largely been sidelined in the past week, unable to change the course of events.

Hamas' popularity tends to rise when it fights Israel, usually at the expense of Abbas, who continues to advocate negotiating a deal with Israel on Palestinian statehood.

The Palestinian Authority's health minister, Jawad Awwad, who had traveled to Gaza to deliver medicine to the territory's largest hospital, was chased off by stone throwers. Hamas officials later apologized to him.

In Israel, there was also domestic political fallout.

Netanyahu is under a lot of pressure from hawks in his Cabinet and the ruling Likud Party to launch a ground offensive to put an end to the rocket fire. He faced blistering criticism from the right over initially agreeing to the Egyptian truce plan.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called a news conference in which he said Israel should not hesitate and "go all the way." He said the operation should conclude with the Israeli military controlling all of the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, fired Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, one of his fiercest critics who didn't tone down his rhetoric during the offensive. Netanyahu said that by attacking the government at a time of war, Danon played into the hands of Hamas.

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Heller reported from Jerusalem. Associated Press writers Ian Deitch in Jerusalem, Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

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