Gaza militants say truce restored
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Last Updated: Friday, March 14, 2014, 08:29
  
Gaza City: Gaza's Islamic Jihad has announced that an Egyptian-brokered truce had been restored following a brief but intense confrontation a day earlier when Israeli warplanes pounded the Strip after heavy cross-border rocket fire.

But the truce, which was to have taken effect at 1200 GMT, was being tested after the Israeli military reported further rocket fire from Gaza hours later and launched retaliatory air strikes for a second night.

"Israel Air Force aircraft targeted four terror sites in the southern Gaza Strip and three additional terror sites in the northern Gaza Strip," a military statement released around midnight said.

Palestinian security officials and eyewitnesses said that the targets were facilities of the Hamas military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades, near Gaza City and a base of the smaller militant Popular Resistance Committees in the southern town of Rafah.

The army said that five rockets hit Israeli soil during the evening and another two were intercepted midair by the Iron Dome missile defence system.

Three rockets had also struck during the morning, he said.

On Wednesday at least 60 rockets hit Israel.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the yesterday rocket fire, but Gaza security sources linked what appeared to be a failed rocket attempt yesterday night to a Salafist splinter group.

They said the group may have been behind the explosion of a locally made projectile in the northern town of Beit Hanoun that injured five members of the same family, including a woman and two children.

Over the course of 24 hours, Israeli warplanes struck Gaza after militants fired scores of rockets over the border in the worst confrontation since an eight-day conflict in November 2012 between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza.

Although there were no casualties on either side, the violence was denounced by both Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and British Prime Minister David Cameron at a news conference in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.

AFP

First Published: Friday, March 14, 2014, 08:29


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