HAMAS HAS REJECTED an extension to a 72-hour ceasefire with Israel, leading to thousands fleeing their homes in Gaza City.
An AFP correspondent says that in light of the expiration of the deal at 5am, people have begun leaving their homes in fear of a return to Israeli shelling.
Israel’s army has claimed this morning that the Iron Dome missile defence system has shot down two missiles fired from Gaza, destined for the southern city of Ashkolon.
“Since 08:00 IDT (0500 GMT), terrorists fired a barrage of at least five rockets at southern Israel. A rocket was intercepted over Ashkelon,” a statement from the IDF said.
“Additional rockets hit open areas in southern Israel,” the army said, putting the number at over 10.
However, Hamas said they were not responsible as the Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigade, took responsibility for firing “three Grad rockets at Ashkelon” in a statement.
“We have one position, we refuse to extend the ceasefire, it is a final decision. Israel did not propose anything,” said one senior Hamas official after a long meeting with Egyptian mediators.
“It did not agree to end the blockade” of Gaza, he added, referring to a key Hamas demand to end the four-week conflict that has killed almost 2,000 Palestinians.
AFP contributed reporting