Israel says ceasefire reached with Hamas was violated after 15 minutes

The Israeli military reported that unidentified Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip violated the emerging ceasefire after just 15 minutes, saying: Newsweek Intercepted a missile fired towards southern Israel.

Sirens sounded in the southern Israeli towns of Kissufim and Ein Hashlosha early Friday morning, shortly after a four-day ceasefire went into effect that will allow for prisoner exchanges and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the blockaded and devastated Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army spokesman’s unit said: “There was a missile and it was intercepted.” Newsweek From reports, indicating that it was launched at 7:15 am local time; 15 minutes after the ceasefire – which the Israeli army calls a “cessation of operations” – took effect.

It is not yet clear which group was responsible for the alleged rocket launch, although the Israeli military previously said that Hamas bears responsibility for any attacks from Gaza on southern Israel given that it has influence over other local militant groups.

A missile is fired from the Iron Dome missile defense system in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod on November 12, 2019. The Israeli military told Newsweek that it intercepted a missile fired on Friday morning shortly after the temporary truce took effect.
Jacques Guez/AFP via Getty Images

Newsweek I contacted the Hamas spokesman via WhatsApp to request comment.

The cessation of fighting on Friday comes after several weeks of difficult negotiations between Israel, Hamas, the United States, Egypt and Qatar. This is the first major break in fighting since a Hamas infiltration attack into southern Israel on October 7, which killed about 1,200 people and brought about 240 back to the Gaza Strip as hostages.

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The Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip began immediately, and has so far led to the death of more than 13,000 Palestinians, according to data from the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported by the Associated Press. The ministry has now stopped publishing updated casualty figures, saying it is not possible to track the rising death toll amid the Israeli attack.

The truce will allow hundreds of humanitarian aid trucks to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt. But there appears to be little hope of an imminent end to the fighting.

Israeli leaders have vowed to “crush and destroy” Hamas in Gaza, a 141-square-mile coastal strip that the Islamist group has controlled since 2007. The state has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since the same year.

Violent clashes have been taking place between the Israeli army and Hamas in the northern part of the Gaza Strip for several weeks, as the Israeli authorities ordered local residents to evacuate to the south. But it appears that the Israeli army is preparing to launch an attack on the southern part of Gaza shortly after the end of the current truce.

On Friday morning, The Times of Israel It was reported that the Israeli army used riot dispersal measures to prevent Palestinians from returning to their homes in the northern part of the Strip amid the cessation of fighting.

Updated 11/24/23 at 03:45 AM ET: This story has been updated with more details.