Rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel this morning – just as a six-month truce between Hamas and Israel came to an end.
Hamas declared the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire officially over at 4 a.m. GMT. It also released a training video, and warned Israel that any attacks on Gaza would “open the doors of the battle wide”. The Islamist movement said it was ending the truce because of Israel’s failure to ease its blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza. “We took this position after negotiations between all the Palestinian factions,” said Hamas official Ayman Taha. “The Zionist enemy is fully responsible for ending the truce because it didn’t commit to the truce conditions.” Israel, which wanted the ceasefire renewed, denies having pledged itself to lifting the blockade. “The fact that Hamas has chosen violence over truce and rocket shooting over ceasefire signifies that it does not have the best interest of Palestinians in mind,” declared Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor. The ceasefire had in fact been breached repeatedly since June. Islamic Jihad says it fired this morning’s rockets.