Gaza pounded by Israeli air strikes after rocket barrage

Leroy Wright
August 9, 2018

One Israeli soldier has been shot dead by a Palestinian sniper during the same period, while incendiary devices attached to balloons and kites launched by Palestinians have sparked hundreds of fires in southern Israel, burning some 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of forest and farmland.

TEL AVIV-Israel's military said militants from Gaza fired at least 180 rockets and mortars into Israel, prompting it to launch a wave of overnight airstrikes and dimming the prospects of a long-term truce.

United Nations and Egyptian-led efforts are under way to mediate a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas that would end a four-month surge of violence along the Israel-Gaza border.

In recent weeks both Hamas and Israeli government sources have indicated a framework for a deal, whereby Israel and Egypt would remove the blockade imposed on Gaza after Hamas took it over in a bloody coup in... At least five other civilians in Gaza were also injured. Reports said it wasn't clear if one of those hurt was wounded by a rocket or by debris from the rocket defense system.

Israel has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in Gaza since 2008 and says the blockade is necessary to keep them from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used for military purposes.

The resistance responded to the enemy's crimes in Gaza.

The rockets, of course, are pretty inaccurate, and just getting them into southern Israel seems to be the best Hamas can manage.

In retaliation, Israeli jet fighters attacked more than 140 strategic targets in the Gaza strip where the Palestinian authorities reported that three people were killed. An Israeli military spokesman said Hamas operatives had shot in the general direction of Israel's border.

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In the hours following the exchange, sirens sounded across Southern Israel in communities that surround the Gaza Strip, including Sderot.

A top Hamas official told The Associated Press that the group waited for the delegation to leave Gaza before responding with rocket fire late Wednesday.

Israel's defense chief said last month that Gaza's only commercial border crossing, Keren Shalom, would reopen if calm persisted. Israel temporarily suspended fuel shipments to Gaza in July for similar reasons.

According to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled enclave, Kammash and her daughter were killed in an airstrike in Jafarawi in central Gaza, the ministry said, while her husband was injured.

The ministry said Enas was also pregnant.

Tensions have been running high near the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests demanding the right to return for the Plaestinains driven out of their homeland.

Mahmoud Daher, of the World Health Organization in Gaza, said in a telephone interview "the situation is very serious".

The Palestinian government has issued a statement calling for immediate worldwide intervention to stop Israel's aggression against the blockaded enclave.

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