Rockets fall despite cease-fire

June 21, 2012 at 7:29 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, June 21 (UPI) -- Despite an Egyptian brokered cease-fire, rockets pounded southern Israel for a fourth day Thursday, officials said.

Seven Qassam and Grad rockets had been fired at southern Israel as of noon Thursday, two of them just hours after Hamas said it agreed to a cease-fire with Israel. No injuries were reported, the army said.

The majority of the rockets exploded in the Eshkol regional council area, the army said. More than 100 rockets have been fired at Israel since the latest bombardment began Monday, said. More than 60 rockets were fired Wednesday alone.

Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin ordered all elementary schools in the city to remain closed, saying he made the decision after consulting with security officials, the Hebrew daily Maariv said.

A statement issued by the Izzedin al-Qassam, Hamas' military wing, Wednesday said it would end the rocket attacks "as long as Israel commits to stopping its crimes."

Yasser Othman, Egypt's ambassador to the Palestinian Authority, announced Wednesday efforts were under way to halt the violence, saying it could take a few days to accomplish that goal.

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