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Rockets fired into Israel in spite ceasefire with Gaza militants

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Rockets were on Thursday fired into southern Israel, just hours after Israel and Islamic Jihad and other militants in Gaza agreed on a ceasefire.

The Israeli army said a barrage of rockets were fired in spite of the ceasefire that took effect at 5:30 a.m. (0330 GMT), two days after the most intense fighting in years broke out in the region.

A spokesman for the Islamic Jihad said the agreement, brokered by Egypt, includes the suspension of targeted killings by Israel, protection of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip and measures to end the blockade on the coastal enclave.

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Shortly before the ceasefire was violated, Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, took to twitter to urge the belligerents `show maximum restraint and do their part to prevent bloodshed.

“The #MiddleEast does not need more wars.’’

According to Palestinian sources, the death toll in the latest round of Israeli airstrikes rose to 34 on Thursday.

Militants in Gaza began firing rockets into Israel earlier this week after Israeli forces conducted targeted strikes against two leaders of the Islamic Jihad.

The Palestinian group has called the action `a declaration of war.’

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dpa/NAN

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