GAZA CITY — Hamas rejected Israel's four-hour extension of a humanitarian cease-fire Saturday as the Palestinian death toll in the conflict rose to more than 1,000.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri sent a text message to reporters Saturday, saying: "No agreement to extending the calm for an additional four hours." A short time afterward, the Israeli military said three rockets were fired from Gaza.
The cease-fire rejection came after the Israeli Cabinet agreed to extend the 12-hour truce until midnight Saturday, and Yuval Steinitz, an Israeli Cabinet minister, said a further extension would be considered.
Earlier Saturday, the Israeli military had warned that it "shall respond if terrorists choose to exploit" the lull to attack Israeli troops "or fire at Israeli civilians." It also said that operations to locate and neutralize tunnels would continue.
Meanwhile, at least 100 bodies were recovered Saturday, Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said, as Palestinians used the cease-fire to move medical supplies and tend to the dead and injured in the Gaza Strip.
As the initial lull in hostilities began at 8 a.m. Saturday, Gazans poured onto the streets to find food supplies, look for missing family members or return to homes they left for shelters. The nearly three weeks of fighting has left swaths of rubble, destroyed roads and damaged power infrastructure in residential neighborhoods across the strip.
More than 1,000 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed since the conflict began on July 8. Another 6,000 have been wounded. In Israel, 43 have died, including 40 soldiers, two civilians and a Thai worker.
Imad Nasrallah, 38, said he and others have made it a point not to forget the living.
"With my brothers and neighbors, we volunteer and go help others, in case their homes were targeted," Nasrallah said. "We transfer the wounded to hospitals or go carry the martyrs and bury them."
Saturday's temporary truce was the second and the longest since the conflict began on July 8. A humanitarian cease-fire on July 17 was quickly overlooked as rocket fire resumed as soon as the set five hours expired.
In Paris on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with European foreign ministers to find ways to build off Saturday's lull.
On Friday, Israel rejected a U.S.-backed proposal for a weeklong truce because it would require its forces to interrupt its operation to destroy Hamas tunnels. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told troops Friday that Israel may significantly widen the Gaza ground operation.
A truce proposed by Egypt last week was rejected by Hamas because the group said it wasn't consulted. Hamas says any peace deal must include the lifting of a blockade against Gaza.
In the northern town of Beit Hanoun, residents — many of whom had fled days earlier — encountered widespread destruction Saturday.
"Nothing is left. Everything I have is gone," said Siham Kafarneh, 37, weeping as she talked about the destroyed home she had spent 10 years saving up for and moved into just two months ago.
The continued hostilities have meant nowhere is safe for Nasrallah and his family as shelters no longer offer the promise of security, he said.
"It's not safe to go out but there is no guarantee our homes are safe," said Nasrallah. "Many houses were hit by Israeli tank shelling and airstrikes while people were inside."
Contributing: The Associated Press