IDF confirms two rockets land in Israel, breaking cease-fire before official end


Hamas Photo: REUTERS

Cease-fire set to end within hours with no long-term solution in place; Hamas calls for Palestinian negotiators to leave Cairo talks.

(SOURCE)  Two rockets have apparently landed in southern Israel after being fired from Gaza, the IDF reported on Friday morning.

The rockets violate the current cease-fire in place, which stands to expire at 8:00 a.m. Delegations negotiated in Cairo for a long-term solution throughout the night Thursday and into Friday morning.

On Thursday night, the armed wing of Hamas called on Palestinian negotiators in Cairo not to extend a 72-hour truce unless their demands, in particular for the opening of Gaza’s port, were met and warned it was ready to engage in a long war.

“We urge the Palestinian delegation negotiating not to renew the truce except after the acceptance in principle, particularly to the port (opening), and if there is no acceptance then we ask the delegation to withdraw from talks,” a fighter, his face hidden behind a Palestinian scarf, said in a televised statement from Izz a-Din al-Kassam Brigades. The statement was aired on the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera news network.

Meanwhile, the Egyptians were exerting pressure on Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Thursday to agree to the extension of the 72-hour cease-fire with Israel, which expires Friday morning at 8 a.m.

Palestinian sources said that the Egyptians are hoping to persuade the two groups to agree to another 72-hour cease-fire.

According to the sources, the cease-fire discussions in Cairo have thus far failed to achieve real progress.

The sources attributed the lack of progress to Israel’s refusal to comply with the demands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, including the release of West Bank Palestinians who were rearrested over the past two months and the construction of a seaport in the Gaza Strip.

The sources said that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have also rejected Israel’s demand that they be disarmed as part of a cease-fire agreement.

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