The 72 hours truce expired and Palestinian militants fired rockets into southern Israel. This signals the refusal of Hamas to extend the current lull and the desire to apply pressure so that a durable cease-fire agreement is offered. The Israeli military instantly reacted by targeting “terror sites” in the Gaza Strip.
Israel declared that it will extend the truce without conditions but also stated that it will respond to Gaza fire. Ground troops are now withdrawn from the region but the air forces are on standby and high alert.
According to the Israeli military, over 18 rockets were fired as soon as the cease-fire officially ended. 2 of them were intercepted by the antimissile defense system over the city of Ashkelon. 14 fell in open ground. No damages or injuries were reported.
Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rockets fired. A Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, declared that negotiations will continue.
A statement made by Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, Israeli military spokesman:
“The renewed rocket attacks by terrorists at Israel are unacceptable, intolerable and shortsighted. Hamas’s bad decision to breach the cease-fire will be pursued by the I.D.F. We will continue to strike Hamas, its infrastructure, its operatives and restore security for the State of Israel.”