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Gaza rocket hits Israel as humanitarian lull ends

 

A Palestinian girl walks with a toy that she salvaged from debris of the el-Yazje apartment building which was destroyed following an overnight Israeli missile strike in Gaza City today.

A Palestinian girl walks with a toy that she salvaged from debris of the el-Yazje apartment building which was destroyed following an overnight Israeli missile strike in Gaza City today. Photo by: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

 

The Associated Press

 

JERUSALEM -- Palestinian militants fired a rocket at Israel Thursday just as a five-hour U.N. humanitarian cease-fire expired, the Israeli military said. 

 

Gaza residents had crowded banks, vegetable markets and shops as they took advantage of the first respite from 10 days of fierce fighting. 

 

The military says the rocket struck the city of Ashkelon at precisely 3 p.m. local time as the pause in military activity ended. 

 

No injuries were reported. Gaza militants also fired three mortar shells toward Israel after the truce took effect at 10 a.m. Israel has not responded yet to either incident though it vowed to strike hard if fire continued. 

 

Gaza City, a virtual ghost town for the past 10 days, returned to apparent normalcy within minutes of the start of the truce. Streets were jammed, motorists honked horns and Hamas police directed traffic at busy intersections. 

 

The rush to restock signaled that Gaza residents don't expect a quick end to the fighting.  

 

"The situation is likely to get worse because there is no clear way out of it," said Moussa Amran, 43, a money changer in central Gaza City.

 

 

 

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