A 3-day truce between Israel and Palestinian factions comes to an end after negotiating parties fail to reach a deal in Cairo ceasefire talks.
UPDATE: At about 10:30 a.m. Friday morning, the Israeli Air Force began striking targets in the Gaza Strip, following rockets fired by Palestinian militants into Israel from the Strip. The rocket barrage brought to an end a 3-day truce that was set to expire early Friday morning.
Haaretz reported that there were disruptions to flights to and from at Ben-Gurion International Airport, following the resumption of rocket attacks from Gaza. Israeli airspace was shut for 30 minutes, from 7:30 a.m., leading to the delay of 19 flights.
A 72-hour ceasefire agreed between Hamas and Israel came to an end at 8 a.m. Friday morning with reports of a rocket barrage fired from Gaza into Israel. The Iron Dome shot down two rockets over Ashkelon, as warning sirens sounded in Gaza border communities.
The decision not to extend the truce came as the Cairo talks between Israel and the Palestinians remain deadlocked, without an agreement reached.
At the time of publication it was not clear if the IDF had responded to the rocket barrage. A correspondent for the The National reporting from Gaza tweeted a photo of what looked to be smoke rising from an Israeli attack in Gaza, however it was not clear whether it came from an IDF strike or a Hamas rocket launch. The Time of Israel reports that military reporters in Israel say Israel is holding its fire for the moment as its leaders contemplate their response.
Israel had said it was ready to “indefinitely” extend the ceasefire, however Palestinian factions in Gaza had decided not to extend the truce.
Quoting a senior Palestinian official involved in the talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo, Haaretz said the negotiations stalled Thursday as Israel’s proposals to extend the ceasefire failed to meet Palestinian expectations. Just hours before the temporary ceasefire was scheduled to end, no agreement had been reached between Israeli and Palestinian representatives in Cairo.
The primary points of contention continue to be the full lifting of the Israeli-imposed blockade on the Strip, the release of about 125 prisoners and Gaza’s demilitarization.
Just hours before the scheduled end of the truce, two mortar shells were reportedly fired into Israel territory, apparently from within the southern Gaza Strip. The shells hit open areas and no injuries were reported. Rocket alerts sounded in communities near the Gaza border. Hamas denied firing the mortars.