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Gaza rocket hits Israel as humanitarian lull ends

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published July 17, 2014 at 7:00 a.m. Updated July 17, 2014 at 8:13 a.m.

palestinians-gather-to-withdraw-money-from-atm-machines-in-gaza-city-on-thursday-july-17-2014-the-bank-of-palestine-opened-one-of-its-branches-in-gaza-citys-rimal-neighborhood-as-the-cease-fire-began-drawing-hundreds-of-people-trying-to-withdraw-money-the-israeli-military-says-it-has-struck-37-targets-in-gaza-ahead-of-a-five-hour-humanitarian-cease-fire-meant-to-allow-civilians-to-stock-up-after-10-days-of-fighting-palestinian-health-officials-say-that-in-total-at-least-225-palestinians-have-been-killed-on-the-israeli-side-one-man-was-killed-since-july-8

Palestinians gather to withdraw money from ATM machines in Gaza City on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The Bank of Palestine opened one of its branches in Gaza City's Rimal neighborhood as the cease-fire began, drawing hundreds of people trying to withdraw money. The Israeli military says it has struck 37 targets in Gaza ahead of a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire meant to allow civilians to stock up after 10 days of fighting. Palestinian health officials say that in total, at least 225 Palestinians have been killed. On the Israeli side, one man was killed since July 8.

JERUSALEM — Palestinian militants fired a rocket at Israel Thursday just as a five-hour U.N. humanitarian cease-fire expired, the Israeli military said.

Gaza residents had crowded banks, vegetable markets and shops as they took advantage of the first respite from 10 days of fierce fighting.

The military says the rocket struck the city of Ashkelon at precisely 7 a.m. CDT as the pause in military activity ended.

No injuries were reported. Gaza militants also fired three mortar shells toward Israel after the truce took effect. Israel has not responded yet to either incident, though it vowed to strike hard if fire continued.

Gaza City, a virtual ghost town for the past 10 days, returned to apparent normalcy within minutes of the start of the truce. Streets were jammed, motorists honked horns and Hamas police directed traffic at busy intersections.

Crowds of hundreds formed outside banks, with people jostling and shouting to get to ATM machines. In an outdoor market, shoppers filled plastic bags with fruit, vegetables and freshly slaughtered chickens.

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