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Hamas' armed wing calls off ceasefire

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Hamas' armed wing calls off ceasefire


Rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, marking the end of a five-month old ceasefire by the armed wing of the ruling Hamas movement. The group says it acted after Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians over the weekend.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said: “We made great efforts to keep the truce but we faced an escalation in aggression against the Palestinian people. It’s not a Palestinian problem, it’s an Israeli problem.” However, Haniyeh’s Hamas movement later issued a statement calling for a resumption of the ceasefire.

Commentators say there has been debate within Hamas about whether a tougher line with Israel should be taken, though the movement denies any division. Five militants were among the nine Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces over the weekend. Israel claims Hamas had not stuck to the ceasefire, forcing the army to react.

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