Israel Air Force warplanes struck targets in Gaza late Wednesday night, following breaches of the ceasefire by Palestinian terror groups two hours before it was due to expire. The ceasefire was ostensibly renewed for five days at around midnight, but the rocket fire continued and the IDF responded.
On Thursday night, residents of the south were planning a large demonstration in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, beginning at 7.30 pm.
"I pray every day for quiet and I want all of Israel to come to demonstrate with me tonight," said Yasmin Lavton, a 10-year-old resident of Kibbutz Or HaNer, near Sderot. As she spoke, the sirens sounded.
Beginning at around 10 pm Wednesday, Gaza terrorists fired at least five rockets at Israel. At around midnight, the truce was broken again with a strike on Eshkol Regional Council. One rocket exploded in an open area, and there were no injuries or damage reported.
Ten minutes before 12, another three rockets were launched at Netivot and Sdot HaNegev Regional Council. One rocket was intercepted and the other two fell in open areas.
Following the attacks, IAF jets struck targets in Gaza shortly after midnight. The Palestinians said that the strikes hit open areas
The IDF said that the targets were terrorist command centers, weapons storage locations and rocket launch sites. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the air strikes "a flagrant violation of the ceasefire", and warned that "Israel will be held accountable."
The attacks from Gaza on Israel continued at around 1 am, when two more rockets fell in Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council. Sources in Jerusalem said that if the breaches continued, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon would instruct the army to respond.
Meanwhile, a cabinet minister told Ynet on Wednesday night that the government had not been updated by Netanyahu, and expressed anger at the prime minister. Netanyahu has been coming under growing criticism for failing to inform and update his cabinet on the progress of the talks.
Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers, who are largely responsible for the ongoing rocket fire, have been holding talks in Cairo on ending the fighting, which is now in its 37th day.
There were also reports that a rocket had fired from Gaza on Thursday morning, but the IDF later said that this had been a false alarm.