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Israel, Hamas Reach Ceasefire Deal Following Rocket Fire, Airstrikes

Israel, Hamas Reach Ceasefire Deal Following Rocket Fire, Airstrikes”

"Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire brokered by Egypt on Saturday after waves of Israeli jets slammed the Gaza Strip in retaliation for dozens of rockets fired from the Palestinian territory - one of the worst flare-ups of violence since 2014".

While the building was uninhabited, the central Gaza City square is a public space where families and children are known to gather.

Israel has been warning Hamas that while it has no interest in engaging in the kind of conflict that led to the sides fighting three wars over the past decade, it would not tolerate Gaza militants' continued efforts to breach the border and airborne arson attacks on Israeli border communities.

In statements posted on Twitter, it said it struck two Hamas tunnels, one in southern Gaza and one in the north, as well as other infrastructure across the besieged coastal territory.

Israeli officials said a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip hit a home in Sderot, injuring a 17-year-old girl, a 20-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man.

In retaliation, Israel on Monday announced the closure of Gaza's main commercial border terminal, reduced the area Palestinian fishing boats are allowed to operate off Gaza's Mediterranean coast and blacklisted what it described as a pro-Hamas TV channel.

Israel's army said Saturday's strikes targeted military facilities belonging to Hamas. Some of the projectiles were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome system.

A relative tries to identify the body of a Palestinian who was killed in one of a series of Israeli raids in response to repeated rocket and mortar attack from the Gaza Strip, at al-Shifa hospital morgue in Gaza City on July 14, 2018.

The Magen David Adom medical service says a rocket landed on a home in Sderot Saturday evening.

"From the unity of blood and unity of goal, we declare Friday the day of solidarity with our people in the Khan al-Ahmar", the committee said in a statement.

"Egyptian and global efforts succeeded in ending the current round of escalation", a Palestinian official told Reuters.

The exchange of fire followed months of tension that has raised the prospect of a fourth war in the blockaded Gaza Strip since 2008.

Hamas denies this and its spokesman Fawzi Barhoum blamed Israel on Saturday for the escalation.

"The Hamas terror organization is responsible for the events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it and will bear the consequences for its actions against Israeli civilians and Israeli sovereignty", the army said, adding that "the IDF views Hamas' terror activity with great severity and is prepared for a wide variety of scenarios". A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier on Friday, an Israeli soldier was injured by a grenade thrown by a terrorists during unrest on the Gaza border.

On the same day, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead as he reportedly attempted to climb the fence into Israel.

No Israelis have been killed.

On Friday, Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians, including a teenager, and wounded hundreds of others in border clashes.

Additional reporting in Gaza by Mohammed Asad.



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