News / Middle East

Rockets Strike Israel After Truce Declared

Members of the Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas inspect the damage after Israeli air strikes on smuggling tunnels in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 13, 2014.
Members of the Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas inspect the damage after Israeli air strikes on smuggling tunnels in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 13, 2014.
VOA News
The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire has gone into effect aimed at halting a two-day flare-up of rocket attacks into Israel and Israeli air strikes on the Palestinian enclave.

But soon after the announcement, two rockets fired from Gaza exploded inside Israel. Islamic Jihad denied it launched the attack and it was not immediately clear who fired the rockets.

The Israeli military said four rockets were fired Thursday from the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip, down sharply from the more than 60 that had been fired since the previous night.

Israeli officials have refused to confirm any cease-fire deal was in place.

Islamic Jihad leaders said the agreement for calm was a renewal of "understandings reached in 2012 in Cairo," referring to a truce that ended an eight-day Gaza war two years ago.

Minutes before the Palestinian group posted word of the truce on Facebook, Israeli aircraft struck at Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip near the Egyptian border, wounding three Palestinians.  The Israeli military said that "seven terror sites" had been hit.

Hours earlier, sirens sounded in the southern Israeli towns of Ashkelon and Ashdod, warning of incoming rockets.  The rockets landed in open areas, causing no casualties, but flew deeper into Israel than Wednesday's attacks on southern border towns.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in the West Bank, condemned the military escalation in and around Gaza, including rocket fire on Israel, during a news conference in Bethlehem.

On Wednesday, the Israeli military carried out nearly 30 air strikes and fired tank shells at suspected militant targets in Gaza after Islamic Jihad launched dozens of rockets towards Israel in the heaviest such barrage in nearly two years.

The rocket fire, which police said caused no casualties, came a day after Israel killed three Islamic Jihad members in a Gaza air strike.

Another Gaza militant group, the Popular Resistance Committees, said it fired several rockets as well, but Gaza's ruling Hamas movement did not join in the attacks.

 
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid