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Hamas Calls Ceasefire After Nearly 100 Rockets

Hamas’ military wing says it agrees to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel after firing 96 rockets at Israel.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/20/2012, 11:39 PM

Hamas officers in Gaza
Hamas officers in Gaza
Flash 90

Hamas’ military wing said on Wednesday that it had agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel, AFP reported.

“In response to the Egyptian efforts to try and stop the aggression on our people, we at Al-Qassam Brigades and all resistance factions declare our commitment to stop this round of confrontation, as long as (Israel) commits to stopping its crimes,” said a statement from Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

The statement noted that terrorists had fired 96 rockets and nine mortars at Israel during the recent wave of violence.

“Our confrontation with the enemy in this round was at the minimal level of fire and responses, this is a message that the (Israeli) leaders should understand very well,” said the statement quoted by AFP.

The statement comes after terrorists fired at least 41 rockets into Israel on Wednesday alone.

Three short-range Qassam rockets exploded in areas within the Eshkol Regional Council district a few minutes prior to the noon hour. The Color Red rocket alert siren apparently failed to activate and warn residents of the incoming missiles. One of the rockets started a fire, but no one was injured in the attack.

An early-morning barrage fired at the Eshkol just minutes before Israel's final day of classes for some 640,000 public high school students had already sent youths racing for their shelters just before school was about to start.

The three rockets landed in open areas around the Eshkol region at about 8:00 a.m. The attack came minutes after medium-range a Grad missile was fired at the city of Be'er Sheva.

In a joint IDF and Shin Bet activity Wednesday in southern Gaza, IAF aircraft targeted a Global Jihad terror operative involved in the planning and execution of Monday's terror attack against Israeli construction workers.

One Israeli civilian was killed in that attack, which took place on the Israel-Egypt border.

Earlier, IAF aircraft struck seven terror sites in Gaza overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday morning. Hits were confirmed and all aircraft returned safely to their airbases.

On Wednesday evening, the IDF's Home Front Command issued security instructions for residents of communities located near Gaza.

For communities located within 7 kilometers of Gaza, residents are asked to enter a protected space upon hearing an alarm or explosion.

Only fortified schools will be open, and open-air gatherings are forbidden.

Shopping centers will be open as usual.

For communities within a 7-15 kilometer range of Gaza, schools will be open as usual without limitations, and open-air gatherings will be allowed.