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Cease-Fire Holds Despite Two Qassams Fired

The cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip enters its third day, somewhat strained but intact. The deal was put to the test on Monday afternoon when terrorists from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – a group associated with Mahmoud ‘Abbas’ Fatah – fired two rockets. One failed to make it out of the Palestinian Authority and the other fell harmlessly in an open field inside Israel. The Israelis allowed the incident to pass without a military response, but altered its forces’ rules of engagement to allow troops to fire on anyone launching any more rockets. In a speech on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered concessions and said he was willing to release "large numbers" of Palestinians held in Israeli jails – even those serving long sentences – if the Palestinians released Cpl. Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped on June 25. The cease-fire has earned praise from both the European Union and the American administration.