As the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire expired at 8 am on Friday, air raid sirens were heard in Ashkelon, and the Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol Regional Councils. Gaza militants launched a barrage of rockets on southern Israel; Iron Dome intercepted one over Ashkelon.
As of 10:25 am, the IDF was holding its fire. Shortly after, political sources said that the prime minister and defense minister ordered the military to decisively respond to Hamas' breaking of the ceasefire. The IDF began attacking Gaza around 10:40 am.
At 11:08 am, several houses in Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council were damaged by shrapnel from a rocket explosion. At 11:27 am, the Iron Dome intercepted a rocket above Sderot.
In the hour and a half after the ceasefire expired, 20 rockets were fired from the Strip. No injuries or damages were reported. One rocket fell in open area outside of a kibbutz in Eshkol, one rocket fell short inside Gaza, while the rest exploded in open areas in Gaza-border communities.
Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for part of the salvo on communities in southern Israel.
Two rockets fired from Gaza landed in open areas in Eshkol Regional Council earlier on Friday at 4 am, hours ahead of the expiration of the 72-hour ceasefire that ended a month of violence, the IDF said.
The rockets fell in an open area in southern Israel and caused no casualties, it added. There has been no immediate Israeli response.
A senior official says Hamas has decided not to extend the ceasefire with Israel because Israel has rejected all of the group's demands in indirect talks in Cairo.
Roi Kais, Ilana Curiel, Matan Tzuri, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.