Middle East

Islamic Jihad claims rocket barrage at Israel

Abu Ubeyde, code name of Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades' spokesperson, speaks to the media in Gaza City, Gaza on August 7, 2014. (ANADOLU/Onur Oban)

GAZA CITY, Palestine: The Saraya al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian faction Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for firing a barrage of three rockets at Israel Friday following the expiration of a three-day cease-fire.

In a statement, the brigades said its fighters fired three Grad rockets at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon Friday.

The brigades went on to vow to continue firing rockets at Israeli cities unless Israel accepted Palestinian conditions for a cease-fire, including the lifting of a yearslong blockade on the Gaza Strip.

A three-day cease-fire between Palestinian factions and Israel ended at 8 a.m. Friday.

The cease-fire was brokered by Egypt following a month of Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip that killed 1,886 Palestinians and wounded 9,800 others. The attacks have also turned thousands of Gaza's buildings into rubble.

Palestinian factions and Israel held indirect talks in Cairo to extend the cease-fire, but no agreement was reached as Palestinian factions linked the extension to Israel's approval of their conditions, including lifting a yearslong blockade on the Gaza Strip and the creation of a seaport.

The Gaza Strip, home to 1.8 million Palestinians, has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2006.





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