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Israel And Hamas Agree To Gaza Truce

Israel And Hamas Agree To Gaza Truce

Israeli aircraft struck more than 150 targets in Gaza on Wednesday night and early Thursday, and Palestinian militants fired scores of rockets including a long-range missile deep into Israel, escalating fighting despite talks on a truce to avert an all-out conflict.

A Palestinian man inspects a Hamas site that was hit in an Israeli air strike, in Al-Mughraqa on the outskirts of Gaza City August 9, 2018.

The Hamas announcement came shortly after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet ordered the army to take unspecified "strong action" against Gaza militants as the military reinforced units along the border.

The rocket that hit an open area outside the major Israeli city of Beersheba caused no damage or injuries.

Hamas is demanding the lifting of an Israeli-Egyptian border blockade that has devastated Gaza's economy, while Israel wants an end to rocket fire, as well as recent border protests and launches of incendiary balloons, and the return of the remains of two dead soldiers and two live Israelis believed to be held by Hamas.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another Gaza militant group, said they had targeted Israeli communities in response to Israel's "aggression".

Gaza militants had at around noon halted fire after targeting Israel with some 180 rockets and mortars beginning Wednesday night and into Thursday.

Overnight on Wednesday, three Palestinians - including a woman and her 18-month-old baby - were killed by an Israeli air strike inside Gaza.

At least three Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes, while seven people were injured by rockets fired into the Jewish state.

Palestinian officials have confirmed that the resistance movement Hamas and the Israeli regime have agreed on a ceasefire mediated by Egypt to stop cross-border fire in the Gaza Strip.

The third and fourth paragraphs detail the Palestinian rocket attacks and the Israeli air strikes, respectively, but still do not indicate that the latter were in response to the former.

Israeli strike kills two Hamas militants in Gaza
The deaths of two of its fighters could trigger an escalation between Hamas and Israel. The military released footage that it said was of the incident.

Over the past four months, 163 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including at least 120 protesters, according to the Gaza Health Ministry and a local rights group.

Neither Greenblatt, the foreign ministry, nor the army made any mention of the killing of Inas Khimash and her daughter Bayan.

In Sderot, the Israeli city near the Gaza Strip, a gaping hole could be seen in front of a small, three-storey building. A auto parked nearby was smashed.

"In the past 24 hours", he stated, "the Air Force attacked over 150 substantial targets along the Strip, including weapons storage, military compounds, training compounds, a building used by Hamas for military purposes, and terror cells".

"What I can say is that we targeted by definition only military targets that were clearly used by Hamas where there was an active presence of Hamas and nothing else", he told journalists on Thursday morning.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov said the United Nations had engaged with Egypt in an "unprecedented effort" to avoid serious conflict, but cautioned that "the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

The flare-up came after officials on both sides had talked about potential progress in an effort by the United Nations and Egypt to broker a truce to end months of violence and alleviate deepening humanitarian and economic hardship in the Gaza Strip. Some rockets landed in the communities, and many others were shot down by the Iron Dome, which is created to intercept only rockets headed towards population centers.

Thursday's events are the latest in a series of severe flare ups over the past few months in Gaza, leading many local and worldwide officials to speculate that another large-scale Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory could be imminent.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the worldwide community to "immediately and urgently intervene". The headline also is flawed by a murky portrayal of events: "Clashes Between Israel and Gaza".

At least 165 Palestinians have killed by Israeli fire since March 30.