Exchange of rockets, missiles imperils cease fire extension

Anthony Weiss

(JTA) — Palestinian leaders announced a five-day extension of the cease fire between Israel and Gaza shortly after midnight on Thursday even as an exchange of rockets and missiles raised questions as to whether the truce could hold.

Shortly before the expected expiration at midnight of a three-day cease fire, rockets from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel, although no casualties were reported. Israeli officials reported that as many as eight rockets were fired between 9:30 pm and 1 am, according to the New York Times. In retaliation, the Israeli Defense Forces launched missile strikes at targets in the Gaza Strip.


Hamas officials denounced Israel for violating the cease fire and denied firing rockets at Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post.

“There is no violation of the calm from any Palestinian side and nobody in Gaza has heard rocket fire,” said Izzat Reshiq, a Hamas official, according to the Post.

Hamas stated that rockets were fired by militants outside its control, according to the Times.

The five-day extension of the cease fire was announced by Palestinian officials. Israeli officials have reportedly refused to comment on the cease fire, but the New York Times reported that Egyptian officials said Israel had agreed to the extension and to continue negotiations towards a more extended truce.