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Israel aircraft open fire west of Gaza City

March 15, 2012 9:51 P.M. (Updated: March 17, 2012 10:11 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (MA’an) -- Israeli helicopters opened fire toward farmland in the Sheikh Ajlen area west of Gaza City late Thursday, witnesses said.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said aircraft fired warning shots in response to rocket fire.

Earlier, several rockets were fired toward the western Negev, Israeli media reported.

A Grad rocket was intercepted by a nearby "Iron Dome" battery, and another rocket landed in an open area in the Eshkol regional council outside Hof Ashkelon, Israel's Ynet news service reported.

There were no reports of injury or damage.

Meanwhile in Gaza City, leader Ahmad al-Mudallal said that Islamic Jihad remained committed to a truce with Israel but would not hesitate to retaliate to any attacks on the Palestinian people.

An Egypt-brokered ceasefire took hold at 1 a.m. Tuesday following four days of Israeli airstrikes which killed over 20 Palestinians and injured more than 80, medics in the Gaza Strip said. Militants responded with a barrage of rocket fire into southern Israel which Israeli medics said injured eight people.

Al-Mudallal told Ma'an his movement, which lost over a dozen militants in the attacks, agreed to the ceasefire after assurances by Egyptian mediators that Israel would stop assassinating its members.

"We don’t trust the occupation but we trust our steadfastness and resistance. We cannot be quiet during any aggression on the Palestinian people," the Islamic Jihad official said.

"The resistance is ready to respond to any Israeli attacks."
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