Islamic jihad declares truce after attacks

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The Independent Online

The armed Palestinian faction Islamic Jihad yesterday declared a conditional ceasefire after a spate of rocket attacks and Israeli airstrikes which killed nine Gaza militants and one Israeli civilian.

The uneasy calm, which followed a weekend of cross-border violence, was interrupted yesterday afternoon when a militant in another, smaller, Palestinian faction was killed in an airstrike on Gaza's southern border, which Israel said had thwarted a further rocket attack.

The lethal cycle escalated on Saturday when an Israeli airstrike killed an Islamic Jihad military commander and four of his fellow militants in response to the faction's launch of a Grad rocket three days earlier.

Islamic Jihad was then mainly responsible for a barrage of more than 30 rockets into Israel on Saturday and yesterday. One of these killed an Israeli in his 50s in Ashkelon and injured four others.