Israel: Gaza Mortars Blew Ceasefire After Just 2 Hours

Unclear whether there's a deal for new truce tomorrow

By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 17, 2014 7:04 AM CDT | Updated Jul 17, 2014 7:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – A five-hour humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Palestinians ended as scheduled this morning, and Hamas marked the occasion by lobbing another round of rockets at Israel, the Israeli military tells the AP. The rockets landed in the city of Ashkelon at precisely 3pm local time, the hour the ceasefire was to end, but, as is usually the case with Palestinian rocket fire, no casualties have been reported. A new, more lasting ceasefire may be in the works, however. An Israeli official tells the BBC that talks with Egypt have yielded a deal to end hostilities at 6am local time tomorrow. But Hamas has denied any such deal.

  • Even before the ceasefire ended, the Israeli army reported that two mortar shells were fired from Gaza into southern Israel—followed by a third shortly after, says the AP. No injuries were reported. The shots came just two hours into the pause.

  • Apart from the small burst of mortar fire, the ceasefire seems to have mostly been a success. Gaza residents rushed to banks and vegetable markets to take advantage of the brief window of safety. Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement saying that the pause had been "mostly" respected on both sides, and that it "shows that a cessation of hostilities is possible if all the parties demonstrate the necessary will."
  • Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have indicted one 29-year-old and two 16-year-olds in what they're calling the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager. The three suspects have all reportedly confessed, and reenacted the crime for authorities, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports. Israel's attorney general called the killing "a grave and shocking act, perpetrated against a background of racism, against an innocent teenager."

An Israeli tank maneuvers to take a position along the Israel-Gaza Border, Thursday, July 17, 2014.
An Israeli tank maneuvers to take a position along the Israel-Gaza Border, Thursday, July 17, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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