The short-lived ceasefire in Gaza unravels as violence erupted in and around the southern town of Rafah, with 35 Palestinians killed by Israeli shelling and the military saying one of its soldiers has been abducted.

Israel and Hamas accused each other of breaking the ceasefire, which had been announced by the US and the UN and took effect at 8am on 1 August. The fighting broke out less than two hours later.

Palestinians look at an unexploded Israeli shell that landed on the main road outside the town of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip
Palestinians look at an unexploded Israeli shell that landed on the main road outside the town of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip(Reuters)
Smoke and flames are seen following what witnesses said were Israeli air strikes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
Smoke and flames are seen following what witnesses said were Israeli air strikes in Rafah in the southern Gaza StripReuters
A Palestinian woman reacts upon seeing her destroyed house in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling. A three-day ceasefire went into effect, but some two hours after the truce began, a Reuters photographer and the Gaza Interior Ministry said Israeli tanks opened fire in the southern Rafah area, and Hamas media reported four people has been killed
A Palestinian woman reacts upon seeing her destroyed house in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling. A three-day ceasefire went into effect, but some two hours after the truce began, a Reuters photographer and the Gaza Interior Ministry said Israeli tanks opened fire in the southern Rafah area, and Hamas media reported four people has been killed(Reuters)

 Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said some 200 Palestinians were wounded in "random" Israeli shelling of Rafah. He said the death toll could rise as rescue workers continue to search for victims buried under the rubble of several apartment blocks hit by shells.

The Israeli military meanwhile said one of its soldiers has been abducted, and that Gaza militants had fired eight rockets and mortars at Israel since the ceasefire began, one of which was intercepted.

A wounded Palestinian woman arrives at al-Najar hospital in the southern Gaza strip
A wounded Palestinian woman arrives at al-Najar hospital in the southern Gaza strip(AFP)
A Palestinian girl carries a child across the rubble of a building that police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in the Burij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip
A Palestinian girl carries a child across the rubble of a building that police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in the Burij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip(Reuters)

Soon after the ceasefire went into force, Gaza's residents took advantage of the truce to return to their homes, many of which had been destroyed in the fighting.

People returned to find their homes unihabitable, with collapsed walls and holes in the ceilings.

Palestinians who were displaced from their houses return to check their homes in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood during the brief ceasefire
Palestinians who were displaced from their houses return to check their homes in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood during the brief ceasefire(AFP)
A Palestinian man inspects the damage to his home in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip
A Palestinian man inspects the damage to his home in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip(AFP)
Palestinian women inspect the damage to their home in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip
Palestinian women inspect the damage to their home in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip(AFP)

Hours before the ceasefire was to take effect, 17 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes, including 10 from the same family, according to Ashraf al-Kidra, a Health Ministry official in Gaza.

He said the family members were killed in an airstrike on their home in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.

Palestinians carry the body of a Palestinian after removing it from the rubble in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip
Palestinians carry the body of a Palestinian after removing it from the rubble in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip(Reuters)
Palestinians walk through the rubble of destroyed houses in the east of Khan Younis, which witnesses said was heavily bombarded in Israeli shelling and air strikes
Palestinians walk through the rubble of destroyed houses in the east of Khan Younis, which witnesses said was heavily bombarded in Israeli shelling and air strikes(Reuters)
Israeli soldiers stand on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) outside the central Gaza Strip as they fire mortar shell towards Gaza before a ceasefire was due, early on August 1, 2014
Israeli soldiers stand on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) outside the central Gaza Strip as they fire mortar shell towards Gaza before a ceasefire was due, early on August 1, 2014(Reuters)

Israel's military said five of its soldiers were killed by a mortar round along the Gaza border on Thursday evening.

At least 1,496 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed since hostilities began on 8 July, according to Palestinian officials. Israel says 61 of its soldiers and three civilians in Israel have been killed.

gaza israeli funeral
Friends of Israeli soldier Matan Gotlib mourn during his funeral in Rishon Lezion, near Tel Aviv. He was killed by a booby trap which detonated as he and two other soldiers uncovered a tunnel shaft(Reuters)