Gaza Militants Fire Rockets Into Israel, Despite Reports of Attempted Truce

Total of seven rockets exploded in western Negev overnight, no damages or casualties reported; Hamas announces willingness to halt recent military escalation.

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Gaza militants fired seven rockets at the western Negev overnight, including five on Thursday morning, despite reported Hamas attempts to end a recent violent escalation along the Strip's border with Israel.

The rockets fired in the later morning hours targeted the Eshkol Regional Council, with all of them landing in open fields and without causing casualties or damages.

Overnight, one Qassam rocket hit an open field near Ashkelon, with another launched at the southern city intercepted by an Iron Dome anti-missile battery.

Classes were canceled in Ashkelon on Thursday in light of the security situation.

On Wednesday, Hamas militants announced they were ready to stop the latest round of cross-border violence as long as Israel followed suit, in a statement issued after Israeli air strikes killed two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in a third day of fighting.

"Responding to the Egyptian efforts, we and the armed resistance announce our commitment to stop this round of confrontation as long as the occupation stops this aggression," said a written statement from Hamas's armed wing.

Israel had no immediate comment.

Around 70 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel from Gaza since Wednesday morning. Around 120 were fired since the start of the week.

An Israeli police explosives expert inspecting the remains of a rocket, fired by militants in Gaza, that landed in Kibbutz Kissufim outside the central Gaza Strip June 20, 2012. Credit: Reuters

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