Gaza Ceasefire Appears to End Early as Rocket Fire Resumes

The truce was set to expire at 1:00 a.m. anyway, and it does appear there will be an extension.

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The 72-hour ceasefire between Hamas and Israel is over, but was reportedly broken with several hours still remaining in the pact. The Israeli army says militants fired rockets from Gaza into Israel about four hours before the truce was set to expire. Hamas told the media on Thursday they decided not to extend the ceasefire any further as peace talks broke down once again. It was set to expire at 8:00 a.m. on Friday local time, or 1:00 a.m. Eastern.

Haaretz reported on early Friday morning that a last-minute extension of the truce was still expected, but there has no been no word from Cairo, where negotiations are ongoing, but possibly deadlocked. Almost immediately after the expiration time, rocket sirens went off in the town of Ashkelon, in southern Israel.

Israel has apparently not agreed to Hamas's demands to re-open the borders in exchange for an extension of the truce. Israel also continues to push for a complete disarming of Hamas.

"Israel will not hold negotiations under fire," the Israeli government said in a statement, according to the New York Times.

At least 33 rockets and mortars were fired into southern Israel, the Times quoted the Israeli military as saying. A 10-year-old boy in Gaza was killed by an Israeli drone.

Hamas did not take responsibility for the early rocket fire, but many militants have allegedly split off from Hamas and operated on their own.

In addition to the resuming of hostilities on Friday, Hamas announced it had executed several Palestinians who were accused of spying on behalf of Israel and Egypt. One report even stated that one of the executed men was Ayman Taha, a senior leader of the group who was arrested several months ago and charged with working for Egypt.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.