A 72-hour Gaza cease-fire crumbled only hours after it began Friday, with at least 50 Palestinians killed by Israeli shelling and Israel saying one of its soldiers may have been abducted. Israel also accused Gaza fighters of violating the U.S.- and U.N.-brokered truce by firing rockets and mortars.
In the border region between Israel and Gaza, plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from residential areas in the coastal enclave as Israel resumed shelling early Friday morning.
Asked during a media conference call if the cease-fire was over, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said: "Yes. We are continuing our activities on the ground." His comments came as the Gaza health ministry said 50 Palestinians had been killed and 220 wounded by Israeli shelling.
The Israeli military also said one of its soldiers, 23-year-old Hadar Goldin, was feared captured during a clash inside a tunnel in the southern Gaza strip. The military said that during the clash one of the fighters they encountered tried to detonate his explosive belt, and that there was an exchange of gunfire. Lerner said an "extensive effort" was underway to locate the soldier.