Gaza ceasefire largely holds, despite rocket fire ‘in error’

Al-Jazeera  /  May 14, 2023

Hamas says the rocket launched from Gaza was due to a ‘technical error’ and claims it is still upholding the ceasefire.

A rocket has been fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said, a day after an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire ended five days of intense cross-border fighting.

Shortly afterwards on Sunday, explosions were heard in northern Gaza. The Palestinian group Hamas, which controls the besieged territory, reported that an outpost had been struck by Israel. However, there was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

Hamas said on its Voice of Al-Aqsa radio station that the rocket launched from Gaza was due to a “technical error” and claimed it was still upholding the ceasefire.

Sirens went off just before sundown in a number of southern Israeli towns, sending residents running for shelter despite a truce that went into effect at 10pm local time (19:00 GMT) on Saturday.

Israel’s military said a single rocket fired from Gaza struck an open area.

The renewed attack comes after Cairo, which brokered the ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza, called on all sides to adhere to the agreement.

At least 33 Palestinians, including children, have been killed and 147 wounded in the besieged enclave since the bombardment started on Tuesday.

One Israeli has also been killed.

The fighting resulted in damage to essential infrastructure across the Gaza Strip, the United Nations said.

Human Rights Watch’s Palestine and Israel director, Omar Shakir, warned on Saturday that a ceasefire in Gaza that preserves the status quo in the coastal enclave will be unsustainable as long as Israel’s siege and occupation persists.