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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 19 March, 2018

Rocket fire from Gaza despite ceasefire

Israel’s Defence Forces say that southern Israel was attacked overnight, after a Hamas official said that a truce had been agreed.

Hamas members check the damage to a Hamas training camp after an Israeli airstrike yesterday morning.
Hamas members check the damage to a Hamas training camp after an Israeli airstrike yesterday morning.
Image: AP Photo/Hatem Moussa

PALESTINIAN MILITANTS fired rockets into southern Israel overnight, despite an unofficial truce between the two sides after three days of escalating violence.

Israel’s Defence Forces say that four rockets were fired last night “in spite of the supposed ceasefire with Hamas”. No injuries have been reported.

The army says that over 100 rockets have been fired at Israeli territory since the latest violence erupted on Thursday. Fifteen Palestinians and nine Israelis are reported to have died in the exchange of fire since then.

A Hamas official had said on Sunday evening that a truce had been agreed and would go into effect that day. He said that Hamas members would enforce the ceasefire, but last night’s attacks suggest that not all the militants agreed to adhere to it.

Israeli forces responded to the rocket fire by targeting a rocket launcher and wounding several people, according to Palestinian reports cited by Haaretz.

The violence was sparked by a fatal attack on a bus in southern Israel on Thursday, which was followed by rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza and airstrikes from Israel.

Egypt had announced it was withdrawing its ambassador to Israel after it accused Israel of killing five members of its security forces during Israel’s pursuit of the bus attackers. However, Egypt was involved in brokering the ceasefire and is understood now not to be withdrawing its representative in Israel.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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