Hamas Declares End to 'Cease-Fire'

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CBNNews.com - GAZA STRIP - Hamas announced its decision not to extend the six-month-old cease-fire Thursday evening.

"There is no room for extending the cease-fire," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told reporters. "And Israel bears full responsibility for its collapse," he added.

"Tomorrow [FRIDAY] will be the last day of the truce," Barhoum said.

Spokesmen for smaller Palestinian terror groups echoed the announcement by Hamas, the Palestinian faction controlling the Gaza Strip.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Walid Hils said they "reserved the right to defend the Palestinians against Israeli aggression after December 19."

Popular Resistance Committees' (PRC) spokesman Abu Mujahed blamed Israel's "killings and incursions" in the Gaza Strip for ending the cease-fire.

Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) spokesman Saleh Zeidan cited perhaps the real reason Hamas opted not to renew -- at least for the moment -- the temporary calm: the "continuing Israeli blockade" of the Gaza Strip.

Zeidan was referring to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's strategy of closing the border crossings in response to Kassam rocket and mortar shell barrages on southern Israel.

In the last week of the cease-fire, Hamas authorized Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terror groups to increase rocket and mortar shell attacks against Israel, which some analysts believe may have been intended to pressure the Defense Ministry into opening the borders.

A little over an hour after the cease-fire officially ended on Friday morning, Palestinians in northern Gaza fired three rockets at Israel, all landing in open areas, with no personal injuries or property damage reported.

Terrorists also shot at farmers working in a field near Kibbutz Nir Oz. An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) armored corps unit came to their aid. The sniper's bullets damaged a vehicle, but thankfully no people were hit.

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

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