Islamic Jihad head: We're committed to cease-fire

Statement by Palestinian terrorist leader comes after 4 rockets fired at Israel overnight; Iron Dome intercepts one.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 16, 2012 11:53
2 minute read.
Islamic Jihad operatives [file]

Islamic Jihad operatives 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Islamic Jihad leader Ahmad al-Mudallal said that his group was committed to a cease-fire with Israel but would retaliate to any IDF attacks on Gaza, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported Thursday.

The cease-fire, which was brokered by Egypt, came into effect at 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning following four days of rocket attacks on southern Israel by Palestinian terrorists and IDF strikes on Gaza terror cells.

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"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 senior Islamic Jihad official told Ma'an.

Despite the Islamic Jihad statement, Palestinians fired four rockets from Gaza into the South on Thursday night. One rocket was fired into the Ashkelon Coast Council area, and one into the Eshkol Regional Council area. Both projectiles fell in open areas. The Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted one Grad rocket that was fired from Gaza toward the Ashdod area, and another fell in an open area. No injuries or damages were reported.

Palestinian sources reported shortly after that IAF helicopters fired at an area in the northwestern Gaza Strip, and that Navy warships fired missiles at the coast of Gaza. No casualties were reported. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, the IDF Spokesperson's Office denied the reports, saying that there was no Israeli military activity in the Gaza Strip overnight Thursday.

On Thursday morning, two rockets were launched from Gaza into southern Israel, casting further doubt on reports that a 'ceasefire' was being observed by jihadi Gazan organizations.

In the morning, a Grad rocket fired from Gaza exploded close to a school outside Ofakim in the Sdot Negev Regional Council.

The rocket failed to cause injuries, but sparked panic among parents, who quickly arrived to remove their children from the school. The school had been open after the city of Netivot decided to follow Home Front Command instructions and allow schools in the town to remain open.

A few hours later, Palestinians sent a Grad rocket hurtling towards Beersheba. The rocket was successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

In a show of no confidence in the Home Front Command, who had declared that schools could open after a "calm" took hold, mayors of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Be'ersheba and Gan Yavne decided that schools would be shut in their cities.

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Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report


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