Rocket fire ends temporary truce in Gaza

Dec. 23, 2008 at 9:55 AM
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GAZA, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Militants fired Qassam rockets from Gaza into the Negev desert in Israel Tuesday, the first attacks after an informal cease-fire, officials said.

No injuries or property damage was reported from the three firings, The Jerusalem Post reported.

On Monday, two Hamas officials said the militant group agreed to a 24-hour cease-fire after being warned by Egypt that Israel would begin killing Hamas leaders if the rocket assault continued, the Post said. The daylong cease-fire also was tied to a transfer of aid from Egypt and scheduled to arrive in Gaza Tuesday

A Hamas spokesman said rocket fire would resume once the aid arrived, the Israeli newspaper said.

Egypt initially denied reports it asked Hamas to suspend its fire as a condition for transferring the aid. Islamic Jihad also denied that a 24-hour truce was in place.

Earlier Tuesday, however, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar was quoted in an Egyptian newspaper as saying the terrorist group would consider extending the cease-fire if Israel would abide by terms reached in June for a six-month truce that ended Friday.

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