A humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Sunday after a barrage of rockets fired by Palestinian militants was met with fierce Israeli shelling, in a fresh setback to efforts to secure a permanent ceasefire.

Israeli tanks and artillery army pounded targets along the coastal enclave, sending thick plumes of black smoke rising into the sky, signaling an end its unilateral, 24-hour truce in the wake of the missile salvoes.

Palestinian witnesses reported heavy shelling east of Gaza City, with ambulances immediately racing towards the area. At least three deaths were reported in separate strikes. More than 1,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in Gaza.

“Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the (army) will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip,” a military statement said.

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