Gaza factions resume rocket fire as ceasefire ends
By Anees Barghouthy, Friday, August 08, 2014
RAMALLAH – Palestinian factions fired barrages of rockets at Israeli cities on Friday following the expiry of a three-day ceasefire with the Gaza Strip.
"Since 8:00, over 18 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel," the Israeli army wrote on its Twitter account.
The army said two rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome defense system over the southern city of Ashkelon, one over Sderot, 16 rockets hit open areas in Israel and two landed in the Gaza Strip.
Earlier, the Saraya al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian faction Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for firing three Grad rockets at Ashkelon.
The Popular Resistance Committee, another Palestinian faction, said its fighters had fired ten rockets at Ashkelon and Eshkol regional council.
The rocket fire came after a three-day ceasefire between Palestinian factions and Israel ended at 08:00am on Friday.
The ceasefire was brokered by Egypt following a month of incessant Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip that left 1893 Palestinians dead and 9806 others injured. The attacks have also turned thousands of Gaza's buildings into rubble.
Palestinian factions and Israel held indirect talks in Cairo to extend the ceasefire, but no agreement was reached as Palestinian factions linked the extension to Israel's approval of their conditions, including lifting a years-long blockade on the Gaza Strip and the creation of a seaport.
The Gaza Strip, home to 1.8 million Palestinians, has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2006, badly affecting the livelihood in the seaside enclave.
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