The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, has announced the cessation of the six-month-old ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.
"The calm, which was reached with Egyptian sponsorship on June 19 and expires on December 19, is finished because the enemy did not abide by its obligations. The calm is over," Hamas official, Ayman Taha, said on Thursday.
The announcement raises the prospect of an escalation in cross-border fighting.
Hamas had earlier ruled out renewal of truce in and around Gaza and insisted that authorities in the besieged Palestinian territory have a duty to respond to any attack by Israel.
"There is no possibility of renewing the truce which ends on December 19 (Friday). The Zionist enemy destroyed it. We at Hamas have the right to respond to any Zionist aggression against the Palestinian people. It's a national duty," Fawzi Barhum said on Thursday.
He noted that the movement would act according to the situation on the ground.
Iran slams UN 'inaction' on Gaza
Iran has urged the UN Security Council to take prompt measures to end the 'deteriorating humanitarian crisis' in the Gaza Strip.
The Gaza Strip is facing a catastrophe as Israel has imposed a blockade on the coastal area, putting lives of almost 1.5 million residents at stake.
The residents are suffering from the shortage of basic supplies including food and medicine.
The UN has so far passed some 65 resolutions in condemnation of Israeli actions against Palestinians. However, the veto powers, particularly the US, have stonewalled the resolutions on at least 42 occasions.