Israeli jets strike amid Gaza rocket fire

Israeli jets strike amid Gaza rocket fire

Israeli jets strike amid Gaza rocket fire

During this time, fires caused by incendiary helium balloons and kites launched by Palestinians in Gaza over the border have ravaged tracts of Israeli farmland. On friday, three Hamas militants were killed as air raids sent fireballs exploding into the sky over Gaza, while Israel said rockets had been fired back at its territory.

While it appeared that relative calm had returned to the area on Saturday, Phyllis Bennis, a programme director at the US-based Institute for Policy Studies, said it was unlikely that any ceasefire agreement would hold. At least 120 Gazans were wounded.

Israeli forces said the attacks came after one of its soldiers was hit by Palestinian gunmen.

At least four Palestinians were killed on Friday as Israel unleashed air strikes and tank fire across Gaza.

Following the announcement of a ceasefire overnight, the IDF announced that Israel's Zikim beach near the border with Gaza was reopened to the public and that southern communities have been instructed to return to routine with no special security directives.

The Palestinian group says through Egyptian and United Nations efforts it has been agreed to "return to the era of calm". "We hope it lasts".

Early Saturday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Baroum said an agreement was reached to keep "the calm", which is the word the organization uses to describe a truce.

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"The event that happened today is something that we can not tolerate and can not allow to become a routine norm, that's why we retaliated and that's why we continue to target military targets belonging to Hamas", Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said.

Overnight Saturday, Hamas and Israel agreed to a ceasefire after five people including an Israeli soldier were killed Friday. "Responsibility for the destruction and for human life will be on Hamas", a statement quoted Mr. Lieberman as saying. Not next week. Not tomorrow. "Right NOW!" "Those who want to provoke Palestinians and Israelis into another war must not succeed", he wrote on Twitter.

Hamas said it had agreed to the truce with Israel, a day after clashes killed an Israeli soldier and four Palestinians, three of them Hamas fighters.

Since the rallies along the buffer zone first began on 30 March, more than 140 Palestinian protesters have been martyred - and 15,000 more injured - by Israeli army gunfire.

They also demand an end to Israel's 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Israel said its aircraft and tanks had struck dozens of targets belonging to Hamas and across the Gaza Strip, including a drone warehouse, aerial defence systems and observation posts.

Lieberman has raised the threat of a large-scale operation in the Gaza Strip if Hamas does not stop the kites and balloons being launched. Israel and Hamas have fought three such wars over the past decade and Hamas agreed to the second such cease-fire in a week under heavy Egyptian and worldwide pressure.

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