Rockets hit Israel despite 'truce'

Updated June 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, June 24 (UPI) -- More than 60 Grad and Qassam rockets were fired at southern Israel during the weekend despite a shaky cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, officials said.

Sunday morning, two mortar shells exploded in the Western Negev Desert, no one was injured and no damage reported, Israel Radio said. One Israeli was injured when a rocket exploded near a factory in Sderot Saturday, the Channel 2 television network said.

'Israel Defense Forces will act forcefully against those who are trying to harm us, and if necessary, will act even more forcefully. Our policy is to use force in order to return security and quiet to the residents of the South," The Jerusalem Post quoted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying at Sunday's Cabinet meeting.

Saturday night an Iron Dome missile defense battery deployed in the south, successfully intercepted five Grad rockets fired at the city of Ashkelon, the television report said.

The Israeli Army said it will continue to maintain its policy of "fire will be met with fire and quiet by quiet," Channel 2 said.

Since the eruption of violence Monday when an Israeli construction worker was killed by terrorists near the border fence with Egypt, some 16 Palestinians have been killed in retaliatory Israeli air strikes in Gaza, the television station said.

Although Hamas has officially accepted the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire it has done little to enforce it, Haaretz reported.

Jamal Muheisen, a senior Fatah official told the Palestinian news agency Ma'an Saturday night that efforts were underway to renew the truce agreed upon between the sides last week.

Hamas official Ayman Taha told the Safa news agency in Gaza that an Egyptian brokered agreement to halt hostilities had been reached on Saturday night.

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