AFP
Last updated: 15 July, 2014

Rocket hits Ashdod in first strike on city since “truce”

A Gaza rocket struck the southern port city of Ashdod on Tuesday, police said, just hours after Israel agreed to abide by an Egyptian truce that was rejected by Hamas.

“The rocket struck a yard outside a house in Ashdod, several people have been treated for shock,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.

The attack was claimed by the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which said it had fired “eight Grad rockets” at Ashdod, which is home to some 212,000 people.

Earlier the Israeli security cabinet voted to accept an Egyptian proposal for a unilateral ceasefire which went into force at 0600 GMT, although it warned it would respond “with force” to any further rocket fire.

There were no immediate reports from Gaza of a military response to the fire on Ashdod, which came after three mortar shells struck open areas near the southern flank of the Israel-Gaza border.

In a statement issued around the same time, Hamas said it did not consider itself obliged by the Egyptian proposal.

“Because we were excluded from the consultations for this (truce) initiative, we are not obliged to abide by it,” it said.