GAZA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Rockets were fired on Friday morning from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel after a 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas-led militants ended.
Israeli Radio said that sirens were heard in southern Israeli towns after rockets were fired from the coastal enclave into the country.
However, no damages or harms were reported, according to the radio quoting Israeli army sources.
Witnesses said they saw hundreds of Palestinians, including women and children, leaving their homes in eastern Gaza city for fear of an immediate Israeli retaliation.
Those families had returned to their homes during the 72-hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt in Cairo between Israel and Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements.
There was no immediate Israeli firing back on Gaza in response to the rocket attacks. Israeli Channel II TV quoted Israeli army sources as saying that the army was mulling a response depending on the depth the rockets can reach.
Saraya al-Quds, an armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility, in a text message sent to reporters, for firing the rockets into southern Israel.
However, Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza said in an e-mailed statement that the Palestinian factions did not agree on an extension of the ceasefire "but talks in Cairo will continue."
Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza, said that there has been no agreement in Cairo so far on a permanent truce with Israel.
Egypt is mediating talks between Israel and Gaza militants, led by Hamas movement, on a permanent ceasefire agreement. The talks, which had been going on for two days, have so far failed in reaching a truce deal.
Israel launched a large-scale air and ground operation in Gaza on July 8, killing around 1,887 Palestinians and injuring almost 10,000 others, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Meanwhile, independent Bethlehem-based Maan news agency reported that the two delegations in Cairo did not agree on a permanent ceasefire, "but Egypt guarantees another three days of calm."
JERUSALEM, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli military said Tuesday morning it has pulled back all of its ground forces from the Gaza Strip, as a three-day truce between Israel and Hamas went into effect.Full story