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Army: Gaza militants fire 4 rockets into southern Israel
Published Monday 22/08/2011 (updated) 24/08/2011 18:50
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Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visits an Iron Dome launcher stationed close
to Ashkelon. [AFP/David Buimovitch]
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Militants in northern Gaza fired several rockets into southern Israel on Monday evening, the Israeli military and police said, hours after a temporary truce was agreed.

"Two rockets fired from Gaza fell in an uninhabited area of the town of Sderot," police spokeswoman Luba Simmari told AFP, and another crashed south of the town of Ashkelon.

A military source said a fourth rocket later fell near Ashkelon.

The attacks were claimed in a joint statement issued in Gaza by groups not party to the truce -- the Ali Mustapha Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Al-Nasser Brigades, a dissident wing of the PRC.

Hamas spokesman Taher An-Nunu said Monday that factions in Gaza had committed to a truce with Israel.

On Sunday night, the Hamas-run security forces were "instructed to stop the shooting" against Israel, with police checking cars in the border area, and checkpoints set up at the entrance to every town in Gaza.

Israel police said seven rockets were fired from Gaza between midnight and 8:00 am, but nothing after that.

A senior Hamas official told AFP that the factions had hammered out a truce agreement in talks with Egyptian officials, which would be contingent on Israel stopping its air strikes on Gaza.

"We have reached an informal agreement to establish a ceasefire from tonight on condition that Israel halts its attacks," he told AFP.

Israel's 15-member security cabinet was reportedly called to an emergency meeting at 3:00 am, army radio said, at which the military's top brass presented various options for stopping the rocket fire.

But after an hour of discussion, ministers decided against a ground operation for fear it "could trigger mass demonstrations in Egypt which could destabilize the regime in Cairo" and also harm Israeli interests in September when the Palestinian are planning to seek UN membership, the radio said.

Efforts to end the fighting in and around Gaza came as Israel sought to head off a diplomatic crisis with Egypt sparked by Thursday's attacks near Eilat, with Cairo saying five policemen had been killed by Israeli fire during the hunt for gunmen along the border.

Two days later, Egypt's state television said Cairo was going to recall its envoy from Israel in protest.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed "regret" over the deaths and promised an investigation, but Egypt said it wasn't enough, although it made no move to confirm reports it would recall its envoy.

The looming specter of a crisis with Egypt played a concrete role in bringing about an end to the Gaza confrontations, Israeli press reports said.

"As early as Saturday morning, in an effort to avoid worsening relations with Egypt following Thursday's terror attack, the government ordered the IDF to greatly reduce its attacks on terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip," Haaretz said.

"We must not lose Egypt because of one terror attack," a senior defense official told the paper. "If the attack near Eilat harms our relations with Egypt, that will be a great victory for the terror organizations."

Tensions in and around Gaza kicked off after the Negev desert shooting attacks with Israel launching a wave of retaliatory air strikes against the Popular Resistance Committees, killing its leader and several other of its senior militants.

The PRC committed to the truce Monday, but only "temporarily."

"We have temporarily stopped firing rockets at Israel according to the national consensus," said a masked spokesman for the group.

He added that talk of a more permanent truce was "out of the question. We have an open account with the enemy until it leaves Palestinian soil."

In the four days following the Eilat attacks, Israeli air strikes killed 14 Palestinians while more than 50 people were wounded.

Over the same period, militants fired more than 100 rockets and mortars at Israeli towns and cities in the south, killing one man and injuring more than 20, one critically.

AFP contributed to this report.
1 ) khader / palestine
22/08/2011 21:57
this article is false not all factions are on ceasefire..

2 ) Mel / USA
22/08/2011 22:18
"...causing no injuries but sparking a fire"..
And in retaliation? Nuclear-armed Israel will drop 6 hellfire missiles,2 bunker buster bombs,and murder 100 Palestinian innocent civilians for defending themselves against Israel occupation and illegal blockade?
Israel has never observed any truce properly.Look how Op Cast Lead started? Israeli night -raids. Canada would fight back too,if we the USA occupied Canada and dropped bunker busters on them,and turned Alberta into a moonscape. Please!

3 ) So Much / For Both
22/08/2011 22:57
ANY TRUTH, in Arab promises !!!

4 ) Malone / Hfx
22/08/2011 23:43
Typical pal ceasefire...pals can shoot,but if Israel responds,they run screaming to the useless UN.lol

23/08/2011 04:48
Ceasefire went poof, in the contrails of the first rocket that was fired

Even for the Middle East, this must have been in shortest cease fire in history

6 ) david / israel
23/08/2011 12:27
#2Israel usually retaliate on certain relativity to attack on it! usually its missile to missile, with no casualties when no one is hurt on Israeli side (if any get hurt, it turns into hole different story) Israel will fire about 4 missiles at Hamas or other organization's building, giving notice to evacuate the building, as to cause no casualties, since attack hit "open area"! if anyone would have been hurt then the price taken by Israel would be in blood

7 ) Henri / France
23/08/2011 12:29
Just proves that nor Hamas, not the Palestinian Authority has any authority. Is that a state that deserves international recognition? Just get rid of the "uncontroled groups", put them in jail, or better hang them in public, and start to BUILD a nation instead of destroying everything. Do not remember who said: "Arabs are not the sons of the desert, they are the father of the desert." But might be true!!!

8 ) IrishDane / Denmark
23/08/2011 17:54
Malone, you defame a noble Irish name with your bs. I doubt you have a drop of Irish blood in your veins. More like viper blood from the synagogue of satan.
David/Israel, you people have army,airforce and navy and you attack an almost defenceless people with them. You have no shame. And your soldiers wear dypers when in action. IDF(Israeli dyper force), thank god for xl huggies. You are a cowardly nation of paranoid self decievers. There are some decent people among you and them I respect.

9 ) Mel / USA
23/08/2011 19:05
#6 David! Which deluded planet do you live on,LOL! "Retaliate relatively"? You're kidding right? You' cannot be serious? Gaza home made -rockets,with no GPS co-ordination,never hurt anyone and usually put small holes in Israeli roofs or pools. VERSUS 1 Israeli US-made Bunker-Buster bomb,or Hell-fire missile or Tank missiles that DESTROY/FLATTEN whole blocks and slaughter whole families,classrooms,police-cadet yards? Israeli attacks are brutally disproportionate. Israel=Goliath.Gaza=David!

10 ) Arnold / Canada
23/08/2011 20:56
#9 Mel / USA. I am sure you know the old expression throw as much shit up at the ceiling because some will stick ? Well that is what the Palestinians are doing. Yes Israel has hi-tech weaponry and they are holding back...because you know all they have to do is send ten or twenty into Gaza and anihalate literally hundreds of people. They are not. They are holding back. But if after one week of holding back with no outcry from the EU and no let up from the militants , I say let loose IDF.

11 ) Arnold / Canada
23/08/2011 21:09
IrishDane / Denmark. Just because someone is Irish or has an Irish name does not mean they have to be as dumb as you. That is the beauty of these blog areas. Everyone has a point of view. I assume you are 2nd or 3rd generation Dane.I will give you the benefit of the doubt. It is diapers...not dypers. Another thing. My daughter is a Jewish doctor who works in the OR. She wears diapers, she cannot leave the OR or the patient might die. Now be a good Catholic and say you are sorry to Malone.

12 ) Robert Haymond / Israel/Canada
23/08/2011 22:45
Twenty-eight Israelis and foreign workers killed by rocket and missile attacks from Gaza since the year 2000 (Mossad statistics) including over 10,000 launchings, many many injuries, maimings and cases of PTSD (75% of the children of Sderot). Jewish lives do not come cheaply. Never again!

23/08/2011 23:20
9) Mel
GPS or not, the rocket is still intended to carry out a mission of killing
Now, let's just say one of them hit your house, would you be as forgiving?
It only takes a hole the size of a BB or .22 bullet to put out someone's lights permanently
It's quite obvious you have never been in combat, blabbermouth that you are
I'll put it simply, no rockets no retaliation, there is no such things as an equal response, each side uses anything including the kitchen sink try using your brains

14 ) ABE / USA
24/08/2011 02:20
To #9 Mel, I guess Hamas does not care about it's people only about looking defiant! Hey Mel countries use all the fire power they have when they are attacked by another country! do not think for a minute that Hamas if it had Israeli wepaponry would not use it! Please don't show your ignorance.

15 ) Gaza's 4 / Israel's 1
24/08/2011 15:01

- Gaza's 4 rockets "fell in an uninhabited area of the town of Sderot," or
"south of the town of Ashkelon", but
- Israel's 1 missile killed a brigade commander and his assistant !!!

The next Gaza rockets will probably hit the same thing,
Just Sand, but
The next Israeli missile retaliation will probably kill another fighter, and
possibly even a few more civilians,

Unless Hamas negotiates Peace, this will continue:
- Hamas puts holes in the sand, and
- Israel spills blood !!

16 ) Mel / USA
24/08/2011 17:37
#13 Bellicose Ben?
"I'll put it simply", no rockets no retaliation"?? Hmm?
Broader history,BJ ?
Home-made rockets are desperate guerrilla defense against 67 years of brutal,Zionist/Israeli offensive occupation,expulsion & extermination of the native Arabian Palestinians! 1.5 million Gazans alone,are squashed into a Warsaw ghetto-type camp,blockaded by land,sea & air,under long term,ethnic cleansing, collective punishment(war crimes)by Israel's hi-tech,lo-moral, cowards.

17 ) Mel / USA
24/08/2011 17:52
#14 Abe, I agree! Sovereign nations do that with their sovereign forces,to protect their own sovereign borders. But,lest ye forget,IDF,IAF,Navy attack civilian refugees,in POW camps,handicapped by attrition & with relatively small,resistance/guerilla weapons to defend their civilian groups.Israel V another sovereign-force nation? Yes,laws of war apply.But Israel,versus a captive,civilian,enclaved,native population? That's war crimes, against humanity & global Conventions.I am a Vet.
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