Palestinian militants shower Israel with rockets
Palestinian militants showered southern Israel with rockets Wednesday morning, causing Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak to reverse a decision to open Gaza Strip crossing points to allow an aid convoy to enter the salient.
Since the early hours of Wednesday, at least 12 rockets and nine mortars had been launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip, a military spokesman said. Police put the total at 30 rockets and mortars, reported dpa.
An Israeli Defence Ministry spokesman said a truck convoy with basic food products and medical supplies from international non- governmental organizations, which had been scheduled to enter Gaza Wednesday via Israel, would not be allowed in because of the rocket and mortar fire.
The latest barrage brings to around 90 the number of missiles and mortars which have been fired at southern Israel since a six-month truce between Israel and Gazan militant groups expired Friday.
On Monday Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, announced it had agreed to a one-day ceasefire at Egypt's request to allow the aid convoy to enter the strip.
However, the rocket and mortar fire resumed Tuesday, but senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar told the Egyptian al-Ahram daily Palestinians were prepared to renew the truce without demanding new conditions.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said after meeting Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak Tuesday that Cairo would try to get Israel and Hamas to renew the ceasefire.