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Israel launches air strike on Gaza in response to 3 rockets from Gaza sent during truce

Published on Aug 19, 2014 9:35 PM
 

JERUSALEM  (AFP) - Israel on Tuesday ordered the military to respond after three rockets from Gaza struck the south as the two sides were observing a 24-hour truce, an Israeli official said.

Speaking to AFP, the official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “ordered the IDF to attack terror targets in Gaza” in response to the fire, which saw three rockets hit near the southern city of Beersheva that is home to some 200,000 people. “Three (rockets) fell on open ground in the Beersheva area,” an army spokesman told AFP. Police said there were no injuries or damage.

Shorty afterwards, Palestinian witnesses and security services reported one Israeli air strike hitting open ground in northern Gaza, causing no injuries or damage in what was the first such raid in five days. “Following renewed rocket attacks... the IDF is currently targeting terror sites across the Gaza Strip,” an army statement said.

An foreign ministry statement described the volley as a violation of the ceasefire agreement which is due to expire at 9pm GMT with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Cairo working against the clock to reach a deal to secure a longer-term truce in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel on Tuesday ordered its negotiating team to return immediately from Gaza truce talks with the Palestinians in Cairo after the rockets hit the country’s south, a government official said.

The official, speaking to AFP, confirmed the delegation had been “ordered to return from Cairo” in response to the rocket fire which came just seven hours before the expiry of a 24-hour truce extension which ends at 9pm GMT.

A desk sits amid the debris of buildings destroyed by what police said were Israeli airstrikes and shelling in the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on Aug 3, 2014. Israel on Tuesday, Aug 19, ordered a military air strike after three rockets from Gaza struck the south as the two sides were observing a 24-hour truce, an Israeli official said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

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