Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Gaza tensions: Hamas says a truce agreed with Israel

Gaza tensions: Hamas says a truce agreed with Israel

The strike hit a building that Palestinians say housed a cultural centre and other offices in the middle of the city, an AFP correspondent said.

Calm returned to Gaza and neighbouring areas of Israel Friday after a deadly flare-up between Palestinian militants and the Israeli military, but fresh protests could test the embryonic truce.

Israeli Army Radio said the rocket was a long-range Grad capable of reaching Israel's heartland.

The rocket fire provoked a wave of Israeli strikes across the enclave overnight that killed three Palestinians, including a toddler.

Three Palestinians have been killed, including a pregnant woman and her 18-month old daughter, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

Medics reported at least four wounded taken to Israeli hospitals, including a 30-year-old Thai woman in moderate to severe condition after being injured in the Eshkol region bordering the Gaza Strip.

IDF said demonstrators were throwing rocks and burning tires at Israeli troops, causing them to respond with live fire "in accordance with the rules of engagement".

Israeli aircraft bombed a multi-story building in Gaza City on August 9, local residents said, a few hours after Palestinian militants fired a long-range rocket at Israel's largest southern city.

Last night, after a 20-hour escalation, Hamas said that a truce had been reached.

Before the Beersheba incident, Israeli officials said Netanyahu was due to hold the security cabinet session later in the day after consultations with security officials.

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"Factions of the resistance consider this round of escalation over as far as we are concerned, and the continuation of calm depends on the behaviour of the occupation", the Palestinian official said, using militant groups' term for Israel.

Two Palestinian officials said on condition of anonymity that Gaza militants halted rocket fire at noon on Thursday.

Hamas is rumored to be demanding the release of a large number of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the dead soldiers' return, a demand Jerusalem is said to reject. Across the border, rocket warning sirens sounded nearly non-stop from sunset on Wednesday in Israeli towns and villages where residents sheltered in bunkers.

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.

"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". 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.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas earlier urged the United Nations to stop Israel's latest aggression against Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli siege for the past decade.

On Wednesday, the Israeli military shelled the Palestinian territory after civilians working on the Gaza border fence came under fire.

"Everyday life in besieged Gaza is shaped by Israeli policy", IMEU added, posting a video compilation that captures the living conditions of millions of the almost two million people living in the occupied Gaza Strip.

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

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