June 25, 2008 - 5:31pm

Israel kept its border posts with the Gaza Strip closed yesterday, calling the move a response to a Palestinian rocket salvo that breached an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.

The posts were to have opened at 8am (0500 GMT) to allow for imports to reach the impoverished territory. But Israeli military liaison official Peter Lerner said they would stay closed until further notice.

"Any reopening will be in accordance with security considerations," he told Reuters.

A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel later informed Egypt that the posts would reopen to goods tomorrow.

Lerner said he was not aware of any decision having been made.

A European Union official said EU-funded fuel deliveries via Israel to Gaza's main power plant were suspended due to the Israeli move.

The EU official said fuel had been delivered on Tuesday and based on current projections, the power station should be able to continue operations through the week even if deliveries did not resume immediately.

On Tuesday, Islamic Jihad fighters fired several rockets into southern Israel, breaching a five-day-old Gaza truce in what they called retaliation for the Israeli army's killing of one of their commanders in the occupied West Bank.

The ceasefire deal does not cover the West Bank.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers, accused Israel of bad faith in closing the posts, where restrictions were tightened a year ago after the Islamist group took over the territory.

"The closure by the Occupation [Israel] is a violation of the deal for calm in Gaza," Abu Zuhri said.

Further stoking tension, Islamic Jihad threatened more attacks yesterday for what it called a shooting by Israeli troops of a Palestinian farmer as he worked his field in the village of Khuza, near the Gaza border.

After Tuesday's rockets, Hamas urged other factions to hold their fire and said it wanted the truce preserved.


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