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Hamas says it will temporarily halt rocket fire into Israel

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Three more rockets are fired from Gaza Monday afternoon
  • The decision is made after a meeting with other militant faction, Hamas spokesman says
  • It will give the people of Gaza "a time of quiet," he says
  • Israel attacks two targets in response to rocket fire, military says

(CNN) -- The militant group Hamas has asked other militant factions to stop firing rockets into Israel in order to give the people of Gaza "a time of quiet," a spokesman for the group said Monday.

The decision was taken during a meeting between the various factions Saturday so that "the Israeli occupation will not have excuse to hurt the people of Gaza, and to give the people time of quiet, time to breathe," Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said.

The Islamic Jihad group later issued a statement saying it has agreed to abide to allow itself to "rebuild."

Earlier Monday, Israeli warplanes launched air strikes in northern and southern Gaza in retaliation for rocket fire into Israel, the military said.

The targets of the attacks were what the Israeli Air Force called two "terror sites."

The Israeli military said that militants in Gaza fired three rockets and five mortar shells from Gaza into southern Israel since Friday evening.

On Monday afternoon, three more rockets were fired from Gaza, but caused no damage or injuries, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The military holds Hamas responsible for any rocket fire from Gaza, and said it will continue to respond "harshly."

The firing of missiles from Gaza into Israeli communities prompted Israel's offensive two years ago against militants in the Palestinian territory, ruled by Hamas.

There have been skirmishes between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces and missile fire since then.

Last year, more than 235 rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza into Israeli territory, the military said.

CNN's Talal Abu Rahmeh in Gaza contributed to this report.

 
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