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Gaza rocket hits southern Israel
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  Article Date:
February 0
9, 2009


A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip has landed in southern Israel, setting several cars on fire, the Israeli military has said.

The rocket landed in an agricultural community near the southern town of Sderot, the military said. No one was injured.

A fragile ceasefire has been in place since Israel ended a 22-day military offensive in Gaza on January 18 that left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians.

Israel's stated aim of the war was to halt cross-border rocket attacks from the Palestinian coastal enclave.

Truce negotiations

Egypt is trying to secure a lasting ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group.

Diplomats said the Egyptian proposal includes a prisoner exchange and the initial opening of at least two of the enclave's border crossings.
Israel wants any truce deal to include the release of Gilad Shalit, the soldier held captive in Gaza since 2006, while Hamas wants the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in return.
Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, has played down reports in the Arab media that significant progress had been made in talks to free Shalit.
"The answer is negative. We are not there yet and it remains unclear if we are going to reach that point,"  Barak told Army Radio.

 Source: Agencies