Terrorists on Tuesday afternoon violated a 24-hour extension of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which had been agreed upon late Monday night.
Israeli and Palestinian Arab negotiators agreed on Monday night to extend a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza by 24 hours. Yet fighting resumed on Tuesday afternoon following renewed rocket attacks at Israel.
Terrorists from Gaza fired three long-range rockets at the vicinity of Be’er Sheva. No organization has claimed responsibility yet.
An IDF spokesman confirmed that the three rockets fell in open areas, causing no damage or injuries. Reports indicate that no warning sirens were sounded when the rockets exploded in Israel. The Israeli government ordered the IDF to resume striking terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip.
Concern in South as New School Year Begins
Shai Hajaj, head of the Merchavim Municipal Council in the Negev, voiced disappointment and concern, saying:
“The terrorist organizations led by Hamas do not respect agreements time after time. We will not accept fire on our communities, and the government must care for the safety of its citizens. The school year is scheduled to commence in the coming days, and the buildings are not properly fortified. There are only a few bomb shelters, which cannot properly facilitate the student population, and they are too far away to reach in time.”
IDF sources say the rocket fire came from the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya, where some of the fiercest fighting between the IDF and Islamist terrorists has taken place during Operation Protective Edge, Israel National News reports.
“In an even more explosive development,” INN continues, “an unnamed security source told Walla news site [that] the rocket attack was ordered directly by Hamas’s Qatar-based head Khaled Mashaal. The source claimed Mashaal had bypassed Hamas’s official military wing…and ordered a specially-assigned unit of Hamas operatives answerable directly to him to launch the attack.”
According to INN, “the source claimed Mashaal was aiming to sabotage negotiations for a long-term truce in Cairo, which were not going his way.”
IDF Determined to Defend Israeli Civilians
The attack comes amid contradicting reports regarding a possible breakthrough in the talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo. Earlier Tuesday, Sami Abu Zohari, Hamas’s spokesman in Gaza, blamed Israel for “dragging its feet” in the negotiations: “Israel bares responsibility for the stagnation in the negotiations and shows no willingness to obtain an agreement,” said Zohari, warning that Hamas is prepared to contend with all developments.
“The IDF remains alert and maintains both defensive and striking capabilities in order to address the renewed aggression,” the Israeli military said in an official statement. “The IDF is determined to defend the civilians of the State of Israel.”
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesperson, declared:
“Yet again, terrorists breach the ceasefire and renew fire at Israeli civilians from Hamas ruled Gaza Strip. This continued aggression will be addressed accordingly by the IDF. We will continue striking terror infrastructure, pursuing terrorists and eliminating terror capabilities in the Gaza Strip in order to restore security for the State of Israel.”
Written by United with Israel Staff
With files from Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency