A Palestinian official said Egypt, which has brokered previous
ceasefires between Israel and militants in Gaza — ruled by the
Islamist Hamas group, was trying to restore calm.
Sirens sounded in the southern Israeli towns of Ashkelon and Ashdod.
Police said the rockets had landed in open areas, causing no
The Israeli military carried out 29 air strikes and fired tank
shells at militant targets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after the
Islamic Jihad group launched 60 rockets towards Israel in the
heaviest such barrage in nearly two years.
No casualties were reported on either side of the frontier in
Wednesday's incidents. Islamic Jihad said its rocket fire had been a
response to Israel's killing of three of its members a day earlier.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that Israel
would "hit back with increasing force" against anyone who tried to
ruin celebrations over the next few days of the Jewish holiday of
A Palestinian official said Egypt, which made peace with Israel in
1979 and controls the Rafah border crossing that is Gaza's transit
point to the outside world, had stepped in.
[to top of second column]
"Egyptian officials have made contacts with both sides to restore
calm," said the official, with direct knowledge of the talks.
(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Writing by
Maayan Lubell; editing by Jeffrey Heller and Louise Ireland)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.