Hamas declares end to shaky Israel truce .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - Tension surged in and around the Gaza Strip on Friday as the Islamist rulers of the besieged Palestinian enclave declared an end to the troubled truce with Israel and warned they would respond to any attack.

Shortly after the armed wing of Hamas formally announced the shaky six-month truce was over, the smaller Islamic Jihad group said it fired three rockets at Israel, which reported no damage or casualties. Security sources also reported that an Israeli driving a tractor in a field just outside Gaza was targeted by gunmen but not hit.

"The ceasefire is over and there won't be a renewal because the Zionist enemy has not respected its conditions," Agence France-Presse news agency quoted Hamas's military wing’s statement as saying. Masked Palestinian conducted exercises in front of television cameras in the hours immediately after the ceasefire was ended, reported Reuters. Civilians on both sides seemed to shrug off the end of the ceasefire, which many in Gaza feel never delivered the expected easing of the Israeli blockade, and many in Israel feel never delivered the expected security from Palestinian attacks.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak for his part told the Haaretz newspaper that "if the quiet continues, there will be quiet. If the lull is shattered, we will act."

As Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review went to press on Friday, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose authority has been limited to the West Bank since Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007, was to discuss the situation in Gaza with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington, according to a report by The Associated Press.