JERUSALEM/ WASHINGTON: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused Hamas of violating a ceasefire that it had itself called and vowed that Israeli operations in Gaza would continue.
"They are violating their own ceasefire. Under these circumstances, Israel will do what it must do to defend its people," Netanyahu told the news network CNN.
Earlier, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas agreed to halt firing from 1100 GMT in response to a request from the United Nations. AFP reporters in Gaza, however, said explosions could still be heard.
Netanyahu told CNN that Israeli forces would continue operations to attempt to dismantle Hamas' cross-border tunnel network and to destroy its stocks of rockets.
"I'm not going to talk about specific military operation," he said.
"Israel is doing what any other country would do and the US would do if any percent of your country were under fire and you have 60 or 90 seconds to get to a bomb shelter."
"I would say we want to stop firing rockets for sure. We want to dismantle the tunnel, the terror tunnel network we uncovered. I don't know if we'll have 100 percent success," he said.
"Our soldiers are dealing with it now."
Hamas agrees to new 24-hour truce
Hamas have agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in its conflict with Israel in the Gaza Strip that should start within the hour, the group's spokesman said on Sunday.
"In response to UN intervention and considering the situation of our people and the occasion of Eid, it has been agreed among resistance factions to endorse a 24-hour humanitarian calm, starting from 2 pm on Sunday," Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters.
There was no immediate word from Israel, which called off its own 24-hour truce earlier in the day after Hamas fired a volley of rockets into southern and central Israel.
Israel army resumes attacks
Earlier today, the Israeli army said it is resuming its raids on Gaza by land, sea and air after Hamas continued firing rockets, ending a unilateral 12-hour humanitarian truce.
"Following Hamas' incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip," an army statement said.
"Due to flagrant violations of humanitarian remission by Hamas, the IDF is now resuming offensive activities," army spokesperson Peter Lerner wrote on Twitter.
Following the announcement, explosions could be heard in Gaza City and there were reports of renewed shelling in eastern Gaza, an AFP correspondent said.
The announcement came 10 hours after the Israeli security cabinet had voted to extend a unilateral humanitarian lull for another 24 hours, in a move rejected by Hamas which continued to fire over the border.