Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

New Israeli strike in Gaza City wounds 18: ministry

New Israeli strike in Gaza City wounds 18: ministry

Israeli sirens continued to blare, warning of incoming rockets, while airstrikes hit more targets in Gaza, even after Palestinian factions declared that the round of violence was "over".

The official, at a command centre used by armed groups in Gaza, said they had been "responding to crimes" by Israel - a reference to the killing on Tuesday, in disputed circumstances, of two Hamas gunmen.

Despite the animosity, the enemies have signalled, through their contacts with Egypt, that they want to avoid another war. "In response, the IDF targeted over 150 terror targets in the Gaza Strip", the IDF said on Twitter. The ministry said Khammash was also pregnant and at least 12 others were injured.

The incident occurred while a group of senior Hamas leaders from overseas were visiting Gaza to discuss the ceases-fire efforts with local leaders.

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

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said on Wednesday he was "deeply alarmed by the recent escalation of violence between Gaza and Israel, and particularly by. mutiple rockets fired towards communities in southern Israel".

Kamal Khamash, brother-in-law of the killed woman, said the family was asleep when the projectile hit the house. The mother and daughter died immediately and the father is in critical condition, Kamal told the AP. Israel will keep acting with force.

Israel has also been battling nearly daily airborne arson attacks from Gaza caused by kites and balloons rigged with incendiary devices flown across the border that have sparked large fires that destroyed forests, burned crops and killed wildlife and livestock.

Israel's Iron Dome defense system intercepted more than 30 rockets, and others landed in open areas in southern Israel, said the IDF.

The Israeli military said the building served as a Palestinian military installation.

The Gaza Strip
Israeli warplanes have hit dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip

Conricus wouldn't comment on Israeli media reports of troops preparing for a possible ground operation, but said Israel "had ground troops that are ready to deploy".

It was the third major escalation since July and came despite attempts by United Nations officials and Egypt to secure a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip.

On Wednesday, the Israeli military shelled the Palestinian territory after civilians working on the Gaza border fence came under fire. The Israeli air force, meanwhile, pounded targets across Gaza.

A senior Hamas official said the deal would formally go into effect at midnight.

At the time of the death of the Israeli soldier and airstrikes, the IDF said in a statement that "Hamas chose to escalate the security situation - and will bear the consequences for its actions".

In a statement, Hamas added that they hold Israel responsible for the latest escalation and called for global intervention "to prevent the rapid escalation on the ground". The protests have been aimed in part at trying to break the blockade.

The third slain Palestinian, reportedly a Hamas fighter, was killed in an airstrike in northern Gaza.

As Israeli airstrikes persist and the living situation gravely worsens, Palestinians in Gaza are on the brink of a full-blown humanitarian crisis due to Israel's 10-year siege.

A magnitude 7.0 quake struck at a depth of 33km about 154km south-southwest of Puerto Triunfo in El Salvador.

The army's rhetoric has been echoed by Israeli politicians and government bodies over the course of Thursday, with the Foreign Ministry saying that Israel was "defending itself from from Hamas' aggression". But it has come under heavy global criticism for its frequent use of force against unarmed protesters.


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