By Adel Zaanoun
18 Jan 2009 10:14 PM
GAZA CITY, Jan 18 AFP - Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters exchanged their first shots on Sunday in Gaza, where dozens of bodies were pulled from the rubble after Israel ended a deadly war on Hamas.
As Israeli air strikes and militant rocket fire punctured the tenuous truce in the territory, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned the unilateral ceasefire Israel had begun hours earlier was fragile and was being constantly reassessed.
"The government's decision allows Israel to respond and renew the fire if our enemy in the Gaza Strip continues its strikes," he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
"This morning they again proved that the ceasefire is fragile and it has to be reassessed on a minute by minute basis," he said. "We hope that the fire ends. If it continues, the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) will respond."
Palestinian medics took advantage of the halt in Israel's deadliest offensive on Gaza to rush to areas which had been inaccessible due to furious fighting.
At least 95 bodies, including those of several children, were pulled from the rubble, mostly in the northern towns of Jabaliya and Beit Lahiya, they said.
In south Gaza, a 20-year-old man became the first Palestinian killed since the truce went into effect when Israeli troops shot him in the chest while he travelled in a vehicle near the southern town of Khan Yunis, medics said.
The incidents come amid a major diplomatic push by Egypt to turn Israel's unilateral ceasefire into a lasting truce, with President Hosni Mubarak hosting leaders from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Spain and Turkey.
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