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After shaky start, Gaza cease-fire extension appears to hold

Gaza City (CNN) -- After a shaky start, an extended cease-fire in Gaza appeared to be holding Thursday.

Rocket fire from Gaza late Wednesday, near the end of the initial truce, and early Thursday, as the extension began, raised doubts about whether it would last. Israeli airstrikes in response to the rockets added to fears that fighting was ratcheting up again.

But the exchange of fire was limited and didn't last long. Quiet returned to the skies over Gaza, aside from the familiar buzz of Israeli drones.

By noon Thursday in Gaza City, many people had left U.N. shelters to visit the neighborhoods they had fled during the fighting, and traffic had once again filled the bustling streets.

Israeli and Palestinian officials said they had accepted the five-day extension of the truce. The initial three-day cease-fire had expired at midnight.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev accused Hamas, the militant Islamic group that holds power in Gaza, of violating the truce with the overnight rocket fire.

But Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri had earlier denied that the organization had anything to do with firing any rockets toward Israel, leaving it unclear which Palestinian group had launched them.


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