Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at the Ashkelon region Thursday evening, only hours after terror group Islamic Jihad announced that a truce had gone into effect to halt a spiraling confrontation with Israel.
The rockets fell in open areas and no damage or casualties were reported, according to Channel 2.
Islamic Jihad’s announcement of a ceasefire earlier in the afternoon came shortly after the IDF said it had launched an airstrike on Gaza in response to several rockets fired from the Strip earlier in the day toward the coastal cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.
After the ceasefire announcement, Israeli officials said the military would respond to “calm with calm,” according to Israel Radio.
Egypt helped mediate the ceasefire, according to Ynet news,
On Wednesday, over 60 rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel, in the largest barrage since November 2012. Israel responded by striking 29 targets in Gaza from the air.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned escalating violence, including rocket fire from Gaza. ”We condemn all military escalation, including rockets,” he said at a press conference in Bethlehem with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
His statements came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Abbas for condemning Israeli airstrikes on the Strip, but not the rocket fire from Gaza.
Thursday morning saw five rockets fired at southern Israel from the Strip. Two failed to reach Israel, while three set off warning sirens in Ashdod and Ashkelon.
The Iron Dome anti-missile system downed one of those rockets over Ashkelon, while two others fell in unpopulated areas.
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report