A truce agreed - then war erupts within hours

By Orlando Radice, August 1, 2014

A 72-hour ceasefire agreed on last night by Israel and Hamas already appears to be falling apart.

The halt, brokered by the US and the EU, was due to take effect at 8am this morning local time. But within two hours, mortar shells had been fired from Gaza, landing near a town by the border, and Israeli forces had returned fire.

Fighting also erupted in Rafah when Hamas fighters emerged from a tunnel to attack Israeli soldiers. Gaza officials say eight were killed in IDF retaliatory fire.

Officials in Jerusalem are reportedly saying that the truce is already over.

Both sides are due to send delegations to Cairo to discuss a longer term ceasefire.

Today, the 25th day of Operation Protective Edge, Gaza health authorities estimated that the Palestinian death toll had surpassed 1,400.

Sixty-one soldiers and three civilians have been killed on the Israeli side in the 24 days of fighting.

Last updated: 12:24pm, August 1 2014