Islamic Hamas rains rockets on Israel defying a unilateral cease-fire


Islamic Militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza fired salvoes of rockets into southern Israel on Sunday, defying a unilateral cease-fire called by Israel and threatening to reignite three weeks of violence that has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and turned Gaza’s streets into battlegrounds.

U.N. chief Ban ki-moon welcomed the Israeli move and called on Hamas to stop its rocket fire. “Urgent humanitarian access for the people of Gaza is the immediate priority,” he said, declaring that “the United Nations is ready to act.”

Israel said it was not sending a representative to the meeting Islamic Hamas, shunned internationally as a Islamic terrorist organization, was not invited. However, the group has been mediating with Egypt and any arrangement to open Gaza’s blockaded borders for trade would likely need Hamas’ acquiescence.

“Israel’s decision allows it to respond and renew fire at our enemies, the different terror organizations in the Gaza Strip, as long as they continue attacking,” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at the start of the weekly Cabinet session.

“This morning some of them continued their fire, provoking what we had warned of,” Olmert said. “This cease-fire is fragile and we must examine it minute by minute, hour by hour.”

Government spokesman Mark Regev would not say what level of violence would provoke Israel to call off the cease-fire.


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