Kassam explodes near Ashkelon despite 'ceasefire'
ByJPOST.COM STAFF, Yaakov Lappin
August 23, 2011 04:29
Rocket is 4th to explode in South after 3 previous projectiles fired from Gaza fall in region following unofficial ceasefire announcement.
Kassam rocket being fired from Gaza Strip 311 (R).
(photo credit:REUTERS/Darren Whiteside)
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.
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.
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."
said that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a cease-fire after five days of cross-border
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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