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Islamic Jihad: Strikes on Gaza may lead to end of ceasefire

Jan. 19, 2014 5:26 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 21, 2014 9:45 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The military wing of a Palestinian faction said Sunday that Israeli violations of a ceasefire with Gaza might lead to the ceasefire's end, the same day Israeli airstrikes injured two in the Strip.

Israel's "continuous violations against our people may lead to the collapse of this agreement unless they stop immediately," the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement said in a statement.

The al-Quds Brigades said the Israeli strikes were the latest in a "long series of crimes" to which the militant group would respond at the appropriate time.

The group said Israel would pay a heavy price for further attacks on Gaza.

Earlier Sunday, a young Palestinian man and a child were injured after Israel launched three strikes against the Gaza Strip.

A spokesman for Gaza's Ministry of Health told Ma'an that a 22-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy were hospitalized due to injuries sustained by the strike.

The Israeli army said in a statement that the strikes "successfully targeted a terrorist operative" named Ahmad Saad, who it described as "a senior operative in the 'Palestinian Islamic Jihad'" organization.

The statement added that Saad was a specialist "in rocket launching" and is "personally responsible for the launching of 5 rockets towards Ashkelon" on Thursday.

An Israeli military spokesperson said the attacks came after a homemade shell fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the Western Negev.

The airstrikes come days after four Palestinian children and a woman were injured in an Israeli bombing on Gaza early Thursday, and a day after after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian protesters near the border, injuring two.

An Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement was reached in November 2012 between Palestinian factions and Israel to end over a week of fighting which left over 170 Palestinians dead and thousands injured. Six Israelis were also killed during the fighting.

Since the agreement, Israeli forces have shot dozens of Gazans in border areas, and have launched frequent incursions.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006.
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