A Kassam rocket exploded on Monday night in an open area in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council after three further rockets exploded earlier in the evening. One of the rockets that fell south of Ashkelon earlier sparked a fire near a kibbutz, and was later doused, police said.

The attacks once again placed reports of an unofficial ceasefire in question and have shattered a period of around 8 hours when no projectiles were fired at southern Israel.

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Earlier on Monday, Taher a-Nunu, spokesman for the Hamas government, said that the factions in the Gaza Strip and Hamas announced that they are willing to comply to truce, if Israel agrees not to carry out more strikes.

The Popular Resistance Committees, the group Israel says is behind a deadly terror attack last week near Eilat, announced Monday that it would adhere to a cease-fire as an escalation in Gaza seemed to calm. The announcement followed reports that Palestinian factions had agreed to stop firing rockets at Israel.


"We will temporarily stop firing rockets for the sake of our Palestinian people," the terrorist group said in a statement posted on its website, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported. The PRC had previously resisted committing to a cease-fire.


Over a dozen rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel since Sunday night and the IDF struck back in the Strip at least once. No Gaza-based group took responsibility for the rocket launches. No injuries were reported from the rockets.


Earlier Monday, Palestinian officials said that Hamas had agreed to enforce a cease-fire on smaller Palestinian factions in Gaza, which have been responsible for most of the rockets fired at Israel in the escalation of recent days.

One official who was involved in mediating talks between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza said the groups had "reached an understanding on a truce and that the truce has started."

Officials said that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a cease-fire after five days of cross-border violence earlier.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office denied that it was partner to any signed cease-fire agreement in Gaza.

A source in the PMO told Army Radio, "We do not sign agreements with Hamas, not directly and not indirectly."

He added, "Israel is monitoring the implementation of the cease-fire. If they continue the shooting, we'll respond accordingly."


At a late-night meeting with security cabinet ministers, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu concluded that Israel will not respond to any attacks from Gaza with a large-scale operation.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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