Egyptian officials said on Sunday that efforts to persuade Palestinian factions in Gaza to hold their rocket fire on Israel have failed, after a day of deadly, that continued into Sunday.
The officials said they tried to arrange a cease-fire set at 3 am Sunday, but did not win agreement from factions responsible for the rocket attacks. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the mediation efforts.
Earlier, a senior Egyptian official told Reuters that a cease-fire agreement had been reached that was set to begin at 6 am.
At least 11 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel overnight and early Sunday morning. Most of the projectiles landed in open territory while the system intercepted two Grad rockets fired at Ashdod.
Smoke from rocket near rainbow around Gan Yavneh, Sunday (Photo: Yogev Shmuelevitch)
On Saturday, at least
Wounded arrive at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot (Photo: Ofer Amram)
Around 6 am, two more rockets were fired at Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council while another landed in the region of Lehavim and Rahat.
Two operatives belonging to the Al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s military wing, were killed overnight in strikes on the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources reported that Hamas training camps and facilities were bombed as well. Nine Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed by the IDF since Saturday.
Some 200,000 children stayed home from school on Sunday due the tense security situation. Schools were closed in towns within 40 km of the Gaza Strip, including Beersheba, Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi. Ben Gurion University did not launch the academic year.
Schools in Sderot, and the Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regional councils remained open.
AP and Reuters contributed to the report