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Gaza militants fire rockets into Israel despite ceasefire

By RIA Novosti,

Tel Aviv : Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets into southern Israel on Sunday, despite the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Jewish state hours earlier.

An Israeli army spokesman said that at least four rockets hit the southern Israeli town of Sderot, with no reports of injuries. In response, Israel launched an air strike against the site where the rockets had been fired, the spokesman said.

Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire at 2 a.m. local time (0000 GMT) on Sunday after three weeks of fighting, saying it had achieved all its objectives. At the same time, Israel said its troops would remain in the enclave.

However, the radical militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said it would not accept an Israeli presence in Gaza.

Since the beginning of the Israeli military operation in Gaza on December 27, over 1,100 Palestinians have been killed, more than half of them civilians, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israel’s casualties have been estimated at 13, including 10 military personnel.

Israel’s extensive airstrikes and ground operations have caused $1.4 billion worth of damage to Gaza’s economy and left 26,000 people homeless, the Palestinian National Authority announced on Friday.