Palestinians renew truce, then fire rocket

Thursday, April 26, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel on Thursday, despite having recommitted themselves to a cessation of violence just hours earlier.

Palestinian sources said that all of the Gaza-based groups had agreed to an Egyptian-mediated renewal of the ceasefire that has purportedly been in place since last November, but was broken on Tuesday when Hamas operatives fired dozens of rockets and mortar shells at Israeli towns.

Israel threatened to respond to the barrage by launching a major ground offensive and resuming targeted operations against the Hamas infrastructure in Gaza.

But ultimately, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided against escalating the situation because he said doing so would hinder his ability to maintain ties with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who shares power with Hamas.

A spokesman for the Hamas-affiliated Popular Resistance Committees, which claimed credit for Thursday's rocket attack, later told Ynet that his group had not agreed to a renewal of the ceasefire, and would continue to attack southern Israel so long as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were operating against wanted terrorists in Judea and Samaria.

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