Group breaks informal Israel-Gaza truce 26Oct12 October 26, 2012

Ma’an News Agency   -   25 October 2012

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — An armed group launched attacks on Israeli army and civilian sites along the border with the Gaza Strip hours after an unofficial truce sought to end two days of violence.

The Al-Mujahideen brigades claimed responsibility for firing two rockets at the Kissufim military base and three toward residential areas along the border.

The group said the attack was a response to “the occupation’s crimes against the people and continued aggression against the Gaza Strip,” and stressed that it would continue its attacks.

Since Wednesday, the group says its forces have launched 12 rockets toward Israeli residential areas and four shells at the Erez crossing, where Israeli forces are stationed.

The Israeli military confirmed only one rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the Eshkol regional council near the border early Thursday, hours after an unofficial ceasefire was announced.

Israeli forces and all other Palestinian armed groups have refrained from attacks as an informal truce brokered by Egypt appeared to take hold following two days of violence.

Palestinians had launched dozens of rockets into Israel over the preceding two days and Israel conducted a number of air raids on the coastal enclave, raising fears of a prolonged, bloody confrontation between the two sides.

An Israeli official said no formal agreement had been reached with Hamas, although Egyptian officials had been instrumental in restoring calm.

“The Egyptians have a very impressive ability to articulate to (Hamas) that its primary interest is not to attack and use terror against Israel or other targets,” Israeli official Amos Gilad told Army Radio.

But he added that there was no direct agreement with the Islamist faction which refuses to recognize Israel and calls for its destruction.

“It can be said categorically that there is no agreement with Hamas, there has never been and there will never be. … The only thing that has been set and said is that there will be calm. We are not interested in an escalation,” Gilad added.

On Wednesday, Israel killed a PRC militant in an airstrike which it said was intended to stop rocket launches. On Tuesday, Israel killed three Hamas men, saying they had either launched attacks or were about to do so.

Hamas’ armed wing said the most recent attack targeted Jabaliya late Wednesday, injuring a woman. Israel denied involvement and said its last attack on Gaza was Wednesday morning.

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