Palestinian fighters slipped into an Israeli village from the Gaza Strip and fought a gun battle with troops on Monday as an unofficial truce called for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival disintegrated.
The clash, in which Israeli television said five gunmen were killed and the Islamist Hamas movement said it had killed 10 Israeli soldiers, appeared to wreck international hopes of turning a brief lull in fighting into a longer-term ceasefire.
After the infiltration at Nahal Oz, a kibbutz collective village due east of Gaza City, the Israeli army warned thousands of Palestinians to flee their homes in areas around Gaza City. Such warnings usually precede retaliatory strikes.
As night fell over Gaza, army flares illuminated the sky and the sound of intense shelling could be heard.
The incident was not the only breach of the fragile truce. Eight children and two adults were killed by a blast at a park in northern Gaza and four Israelis were reported to have been killed by cross-border Palestinian mortar fire.
Residents blamed the park explosion, which also wounded 40 adults, on an Israeli airstrike, but Israel said a misfiring rocket launched by Hamas militants had hit the public garden in the Beach refugee camp.
Israeli media said four Israelis were killed by a mortar round fired out of Gaza in a separate incident. The military declined immediate comment. . .