Thursday 16 August 2018
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1 months ago

Israel and Gaza militants agree to end fierce flare-up of fighting

GAZA-ISRAEL BORDER - 15 July 2018: Israel and Gaza militant groups agreed a ceasefire on Saturday, a Palestinian official said, after Israel launched dozens of air strikes against the Palestinian enclave s ruling Hamas group and gunmen fired more than 100 rockets across the border.

But several hours after the announcement, the Israeli military said Palestinians fired two mortar bombs towards Israel and that it responded by striking the weapon used in the attack in the southern Gaza Strip. There were no immediate reports of any casualties.

Palestinian health officials said earlier that two teenagers had been killed by one air strike in what was one of the worst flare-ups since the 2014 Israel-Gaza war. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not respond to a request for comment.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters: Efforts by many parties have continued since the beginning of the escalation and the Israeli bombardment on Gaza. They were crowned by the success of the Egyptian effort to restore calm and end the escalation.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said in a separate statement that a truce had been reached.

A senior Israeli defence official said: Only the facts on the ground will dictate our further response.

The surge in violence followed mounting public criticism of Netanyahu over failure to counter a new Palestinian tactic: incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza that have burned crops and scrubland in southern Israel.

Two Palestinian teenagers were killed on Saturday, Gaza health officials said, in one of more than 40 air strikes carried out in Gaza by the Israeli military since Friday.

OVER 100 ROCKETS

The military said some 100 rockets were launched from Gaza at southern Israel, where many residents have reinforced rooms in their homes but only seconds to reach them between the time sirens blare and missiles land.

Some of

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