Hamas pledges truce as Kassams hit Ashkelon

November 5, 2008

Palestinians have fired 35 Kassam rockets into Israel today from the Gaza Strip, in the worst outbreak of violence since June's ceasefire.

Hamas have claimed responsibility for the rockets but have vowed to maintain the five-month truce with Israel.

The rocket barrage - two of which hit the city of Ashkelon - followed an Israeli engagement with Hamas gunmen inside the Strip. Three Israeli soldiers were wounded and six gunmen were reported killed in the fresh clashes, which began when IDF special forces entered Gaza in order to blow up a tunnel dug by Hamas terrorists for kidnapping IDF soldiers.

One soldier was slightly wounded in the firefight the IDF said, adding that there were also casualties among the gunmen.

Hamas quickly vowed revenge for its casualties. "Our response will be harsh, and the enemy will play a heavy price," the group said in a statement on its military wing's website.

A further two missiles were fired at western Negev at around 1pm today; no injuries were reported.

Last updated: 5:12pm, November 5 2008