Hamas renewed fire at Israel Saturday evening with rockets being fired at Ashdod, Ashkelon and central Israel, despite Israel extension of a humanitarian ceasefire until midnight. One Israeli was severely wounded as result of a mortar shell hit in the Sha'ar Hanegev Region.
Three mortars were fired at Israel before, only a minute after 8 pm, the hour the ceasefire between Israel and factions fighting in Gaza was set to expire. The IDF did not return fire at Gaza Strip. Israel agreed to extend the ceasefire to at least midnight Saturday, and the Security Cabinet convened to vote on extending the ceasefire by another day.
At roughly 11 pm, rockets were fire at the Be'er Sheva and Ashkelon regions. Before 10 pm, a rocket barrage was fired at Israel with sirens sounding throughout the south and in parts of central Israel. Two rockets were intercepted over Ashkelon.
Hamas took responsibility for rocket some of the rocket fire, saying it launched rockets at a community at the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional, Ashkelon and the Tel Aviv area.
At roughly 8 pm, right after the ceasefire was suppose to end, mortars reportedly landed in Eshkol and the Color Red siren - which is sounded in the case rockets, and not mortars, are fired - was also sounded in Ashkelon, Holit and Kerem Shalom. No injuries or damage was caused.
It is unclear whether the attack is a violation of the ceasefire as the extension has yet to be formally announced and it is possible those who fired the rockets do not belong to either Hamas or the Islamic Jihad who are bound to the deal.
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A cabinet meeting is scheduled to take place on 9:30 pm Saturday to discuss the possibility of extending the humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza Strip to the entire week. In the meantime, ministers have already voted in favor of extending the ceasefire at least until midnight.
An Israeli government source told Reuters on Saturday that Israel is leaning towards extending a 12-hour truce agreed on with Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists groups, and which is set to end at 8:00 pm Saturday.
"As far as Israel is concerned, there is no reason to prevent Gaza's people from stocking up on supplies, so long as the military can continue its work against the tunnels. Our war is not against the population," an official said, declined to be named.
Israel under rocket fire
A heavy barrage was fired for the second time at central Israel and the Sharon plain on Friday night. The Iron Dome intercepted two rockets over Rosh HaAyn and two over Gan Yavne.
Following the interception, shrapnel fell in several area in central Petah Tikva and in Hod HaSharon. So far, no injuries or damage reported.
Shortly before that, the Iron Dome intercepted two rockets fired at Ashdod, and one rocket fired at Ashkelon, while another landed in an open area near Ashkelon. Three rockets hit outside communities in the Eshkol Regional Councils, one near Netivot and three in open areas in Sdot Negev.
The Iron Dome also intercepted three rockets fired at Ashdod, while two hit open areas in Sha'ar HaNegev and Sdot Negev.
In a massive rocket barrage fired at Israel in the afternoon, Iron Dome missile shot down at least five rockets over Ashkelon, Hof Ashkelon Regional Council and the Be'er Tuvia regional council; some six rockets exploded in open area.
In two seperate attacks between 11:30am to noon, Hamas claimed responsibility for firing 5 rockets at Tel Aviv. It was confirmed that 2 of the rockets were shot down in the second of these attacks. Iron Dome also intercepted one rocket over the Sharon region while one fell in an open area.