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Israeli airstrike breaks brief Israel-Gaza cease-fire

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Ariel Schalit/AP

(Read caption) An Ultra orthodox man uses a phone to take photographs at a site were a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit Ashdod, southern Israel, Saturday. Israeli aircraft struck at Palestinian militants on Saturday who responded with a volley of rockets which rained on southern Israeli towns, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. Seven militants were killed while the Israelis reported several civilians injured. A cease-fire has held since the violence ended, Saturday.

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• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

An Israeli airstrike on two Palestinian fighters in Gaza Sunday broke the hope that a cease-fire would be brokered to end a weekend exchange of rockets and airstrikes that killed one Israeli civilian and ten Palestinian militants.

Egypt was working for a truce to end the worst violence between Gaza and Israel in more than two months.

The exchange of fire comes less than two weeks after after Hamas, which rules Gaza, released captured Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit in return for the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel. The last major violence came when Israel launched airstrikes at Gaza in August following an attack on Israelis near the border with Israel.

The Associated Press reports that Israeli jets launched a missile on Palestinian militants Sunday afternoon, breaking the quiet that had held since morning. Israel said the two men were preparing to launch a rocket into Israel. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed the two men killed as members, according to the AP.

The strike is likely to draw retaliation from Gazan militants.

Around noon Sunday, Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for most of the rocket fire from Gaza over the weekend, said it would abide by a truce brokered by Egypt, as long as Israel stops airstrikes, reports Palestinian news agency Ma’an.

The weekend barrage began when an Israeli airstrike Saturday struck a training cell of Islamic Jihad’s armed wing that Israel said was responsible for launching a rocket at Israel last week, reports Bloomberg. Gaza militants retaliated with dozens of rockets, and Israel also launched other airstrikes.


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