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Gaza on alert as ceasefire ends

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Gaza on alert as ceasefire ends

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Tension is high in Gaza after Hamas declared an end to its six-month truce with Israel. Hamas warned that there would be bloodshed if Israel attacked. Sporadic violence flared along the Gaza-Israel border, but no injuries were reported. The Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said the Hezbollah leader was calling for support for the Palestinians. He said Hassan Nasrallah was urging people throughout the Arab world to stand beside the Palestinians in Gaza to help them break the siege.

In the Lebanese capital, Beirut, thousands of people demonstrated against Israel’s blockade. In the southern Israeli town of Sderot, regularly in the firing line of rockets from Gaza, people were on their guard, but the area remained relatively calm. Israeli ministers said they were against the ending of the ceasefire. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “The continuation of the truce is in the greatest interest of both sides, and it needs to continue.” Israel says it has no plans to order a large assault on Gaza unless there is gross provocation, but its tanks continued to surround the strip.