Israeli retaliatory strikes hit Gaza amid cease-fire

JTA

JERUSALEM  — Despite a cease-fire that has held for about a day, Israel’s military struck two sites in Gaza.

Israel’s Air Force fired on what it called two “terrorist activity sites” in northern Gaza early Wednesday morning, some 24-hours after the announcement of an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire.

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Seven rockets and mortars from Gaza struck Israel following the announcement; a rocket that landed in a parking lot in Netivot injured one person and damaged property.

An Israel Defense Force’s statement said that the Wednesday morning attack was in retaliation for the rocket attacks.

Also Wednesday, Palestinian officials said an eight-year-old boy hurt in an Israeli attack Monday, that killed a teenage boy, died of his injuries.

Terrorist groups in Gaza began launching a barrage of rockets at Israel on March 9 after Israel assassinated Zuhir Mussah Ahmed Kaisi, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces believed Kaisi was planning a terrorist strike in Israel.

More than 200 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip on Israel.

At least 27 Palestinians, including Wednesday’s death, a 14-year-old and three other civilians, were killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza. The majority of those killed were terrorists, including 14 from Islamic Jihad, according to the IDF.

At least eight Israelis and foreign workers in Israel have been wounded, two seriously, and dozens have been treated for shock, according to reports.

Schools that had been closed for three days in cities and towns including Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod reopened on Wednesday, though in some communities up to half of students did not show up for school.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Treasury in consultations with the Histadrut Labor Federation agreed to compensate employers and their employees for missed work due to the rocket fire.