Iron Dome shoots down 5 Gaza rockets (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Yoav Zitun Latest Update: 06.23.12, 22:01)
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No truce yet: Shortly after Hamas announces Gaza truce, anti-missile
system intercepts five Grads fired at city of Ashkelon; more than 150
rockets explode in Israel in recent days
The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down five Gaza rockets
Saturday evening, shortly after Hamas declared that a southern truce
will go into effect gradually.
A ceasefire between Gaza Strip factions and Israel will go into
effect Saturday night following Egyptian mediation efforts, senior
Hamas man Ayman Taha initially said in an interview with a
Palestinian television station Saturday evening. Later he said that
the lull has no set date and will be implemented gradually.
A short while after the announcement, Iron Dome intercepted five Gaza
rockets fired at populated areas in the southern town of Ashkelon. A
siren was activated in the city around 9:20 pm and local residents
reported hearing explosions.
Earlier in the day, Iron Dome shot down five other rockets fired from
Gaza. The IDF said some 150 rockets landed in Israel so far during
the latest round of fighting in the south.
´Ready to crush enemy´
Notably, Hamas has already violated a truce agreement reached
Thursday. Before Saturday´s ceasefire announcement, Hamas´ Izz al-Din
al-Qassam Brigades published a Hebrew-language video, threatening to
escalate the fighting and warning that the group will "crush" Israel.
"If the last rounds were not enough to deliver the message ... we are
ready to crush the enemy and to curb its arrogance and to respond to
aggression in a strong way," the group said in a statement earlier.
Hamas´ statements followed several days of fighting in the south,
with Israeli communities sustaining dozens of rockets fired by Gaza
terrorists. Meanwhile, the IDF launched several strikes on terror
targets in the Strip, killing at least 13 Palestinians in recent days.
Earlier Saturday, Israeli defense officials said that quiet in Gaza
will be met with quiet, but denied that ceasefire negotiations were
underway or that a truce deal was achieved.
Also on Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a situation
assessment with military and defense officials on the escalating
attacks on southern Israel, instructing them to continue operating
intensively to keep residents of southern Israel safe.
Elior Levy, Neri Brener, AP and Attila Somfalvi contributed to the
story (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 06/23/12)
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