UK & World News

  • 22 November 2012, 17:37

Gaza: Rockets Fired Hours After Ceasefire

Twelve rockets were fired into Israel hours after a ceasefire was brokered, it has been claimed.

An Israeli Police spokesman said the attacks caused no injuries or damage, with the rockets mostly landing in open fields in the south of the Jewish state.

A truce brokered between Israel and Hamas came into effect on Wednesday evening, bringing eight days of fighting to an end.

Both sides quickly claimed victory, with Hamas insisting it had defeated Israel.

The Israelis, meanwhile, said they have severely impaired the military capability of Hamas, which governs Gaza.

The ceasefire deal calls on Israel to "stop all hostilities ... in the land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals" and urges the Palestinian factions to end "rocket attacks and all attacks along the border".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he was prepared to give peace a chance.

"Netanyahu spoke with President Barack Obama and agreed to his recommendation to give a chance to an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and thereby give an opportunity for the stabilisation of the situation and a calming of it," said a statement.

Meanwhile, police are still investigating a bus bombing in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv that left at least 21 people wounded.

The explosion took place near the military headquarters hours before a ceasefire was announced and threatened to derail negotiations.

And a Palestinian woman in her late 30s has been arrested after trying to stab an Israeli border guard at the entrance of an east Jerusalem police station, police said.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the woman to attack the border guard, who suffered only scratches, according to a statement.

But the incident drew the attention of Palestinian youths in the neighbourhood, with about 100 people gathering around the station after the incident to show their support for the woman.

Police arrested three of them before dispersing the crowd.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was a "critical moment" for the region.

Gaza City's streets were dark and deserted in the minutes after the truce took effect at 7pm UK time.

Soon afterwards people poured out of their homes to hail the "victory".

Celebratory gunfire could be heard throughout the Gaza Strip and fireworks were released into the sky, where Israeli drones still buzzed overhead.

"The resistance has triumphed," some shouted.

After urging the two sides to uphold the accord, the 15-member UN Security Council also called in a statement for an international effort to get "emergency aid" into Gaza.

There had to be "expeditious and unimpeded delivery of such humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment," said the statement.