'Ceasefire reached' between Israel and Gaza militants

'Ceasefire reached' between Israel and Gaza militants

The Israeli military carried out its largest daytime airstrike campaign in Gaza since the 2014 war Saturday as Hamas militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel. Most recently, it has been struggling to cope with the widespread fires caused by the incendiary kites and balloons floating over the border.

"In addition, a weapons manufacturing site and storage facilities housing various types of weapons, including Hamas' naval capabilities, were struck", it said.

The air force also attacked a Palestinian terrorist cell launching mortars.

According to IDF spokesman Brig. Three Israelis were injured by a rocket in Sderot.

Over 130, mostly unarmed, Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests began on March 30.

Around 10 other passers-by were wounded, the officials said.

In the Saturday afternoon salvo, Palestinians fired more than 60 rockets and mortar shells and sirens wailed frequently in southern Israel. There were no reports of injuries and the IDF did not immediately comment.

A number of other projectiles that landed inside communities in the Eshkol region of southern Israel caused light damage to buildings and infrastructure.

In a statement, the military said Hamas' activities "violate Israeli sovereignty, endanger Israeli civilians and sabotage Israel's humanitarian efforts that aim to help Gazan civilians".

Israeli media reports said no one was injured in those attacks.

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Hamas on Saturday said the barrage of rockets and mortar shells into Israeli territory overnight was sacked by the "resistance" to "stop Israeli escalation". Hamas denies this. Its spokesman Fawzi Barhoum blamed Israel on Saturday for the escalation.

The Israeli army said air strikes carried out in the morning hit "complexes used to prepare arson terror attacks and a Hamas terror training facility".

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.

"Our message to Hamas is that we can and will enhance the intensity of our effort if needed", he said.

Thousands took part in Friday's protests, which marked 100 days since their launch, with some venturing close to the border fence, burning tires and throwing stones.

In fresh violence Friday, a 15-year-old was shot dead during the demonstrations and a 20-year-old died later of gunshot wounds sustained during the protest, the Gaza health ministry said.

The Israeli Supreme Court has temporarily suspended the demolition of the Bedouin village, home to at least 180 people, until July 16.

The protests have called for Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes now inside Israel.

Israel's military said Palestinian protesters hurled grenades, explosive devices and fire-bombs toward the Israeli troops across the border fence.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two major terror groups in the Gaza Strip, indicated that while they were not interested in an all-out military confrontation with Israel, they were nevertheless prepared to do their utmost to defend the Palestinians against any Israeli "aggression".

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