Militants call end to ceasefire as Israeli air-strike kills three in Gaza

The National Resistance Brigades announced April 2 that the ceasefire was over in the Gaza Strip, following an overnight Israeli air-strike that killed three leaders of Hamas’ armed wing. The brigades, military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said they would retaliate to the killings and that Israel “would have to bear the repercussions of this crime.”

Witnesses said Israeli drones fired a missile at a white Toyota traveling on Salah ad-Din road between Khan Younis and Deir Al-Baleh in the southern Gaza Strip at around midnight. The Israeli military said the three men were planning to carry out kidnapping attacks in Israel and in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula during the Jewish holiday of Passover which begins on April 18.

The National Resistance Brigades urged Palestinian factions in Gaza to reconsider the recently announced ceasefire and to respond to Israel’s ongoing attacks on the coastal enclave. Less than an hour later, the military wing affiliated to the Popular Resistance Committees released a statement announcing the group’s disengagement from the ceasefire agreement. The an-Nasser Salah Addin Brigades said Palestinians’ blood came at a high price, and warned Israel to prepare “for the consequences and for Palestinian rage.” Hamas’ armed wing the al-Qassam Brigades mourned the loss of the fighters and reaffirmed the group’s “commitment and determination to continue the resistance against the belligerent occupation forces.”

On March 26, Palestinian factions in Gaza agreed to commit to a truce if Israel stopped attacking the coastal enclave. The decision was made during a two-hour meeting in Gaza City, initiated by Hamas. It followed a bloody week of air-strikes and shelling in which Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinians, including civilians and children, and injured dozens more. The truce meeting was attended by representatives of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and several other parties, all of which had claimed projectile fire in recent weeks. (Maan News Agency, April 2)

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