A Palestinian family runs for cover during an Israeli shelling
A Palestinian family runs for cover during an Israeli shellingReuters

The 72-hour ceasefire, which began in Gaza on Friday morning, ended within minutes after Israel resumed shelling following a kidnapping of its soldier by the Hamas militants.

"The cease-fire is over," The New York Times quoted Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military.

The report stated that the brokered peace was broken after Palestinian militants, who emerged from a tunnel near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, abducted an Israeli soldier.

The Israeli army has reportedly resumed shelling, while ground forces are carrying out extensive seach for the missing soldier. 

The peace deal, brokered by the United Nations and the United States, came into force at around 8 am but by 9.30 am - following the abduction of the soldier - the shelling resumed, the Israeli government claimed, according to reports.

Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk, however, told Turkish media that the Palestinian rebel group had indeed taken an Israeli soldier captive but the abduction had taken place prior to the 72-hour ceasefire, the NYT noted.

BBC noted that during the uneasy ceasefire, the Palestinians were inspecting their destroyed homes early in the morning, when the shelling started again. 

Citing the Gaza health ministry, the report claimed that "at least 27 Palestinians were killed and 100 injured in an Israeli attack near the southern town of Rafah after the ceasefire".

Since the start of the conflict, there has been four humanitarian ceasefire announcements but they were all shortlived as peace was broken with renewed fighting each time, Al Jazeera reported.