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Israel says it strikes 25 Hamas 'military targets' in air raids in the Gaza Strip

Gaza’s Hamas rulers have said in recent hours that they have agreed to a ceasefire, but Israel denied this.

Flames of rockets fired by Palestinian militants are seen over Gaza Strip toward Israeli lands.
Flames of rockets fired by Palestinian militants are seen over Gaza Strip toward Israeli lands.
Image: Hatem Moussa/AP/Press Association Images

ISRAEL HAS SAID it struck 25 more Hamas “military targets” in air raids in the Gaza Strip overnight in response to rocket and mortar fire, part of the worst military flare-up since a 2014 war.

Targets included drone sheds, a rocket-making workshop and “military compounds,” a military statement said.

Israel said it it hit more than 35 militant targets in the Palestinian enclave yesterday after a barrage of rocket and mortar fire from Hamas, the Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip, and Islamic Jihad.

It said late last night about 70 rockets and mortars had been fired at Israel throughout the day. A number of them were intercepted by air defence systems.

Three Israeli soldiers were wounded. There were no immediate reports of casualties in Gaza.

Sirens and explosions continued into the night after yesterday’s eruption.

Ceasefire

Gaza’s Hamas rulers have said in recent hours that they have agreed to a ceasefire with Israel to end the largest flare-up of violence between the sides since a 2014 war.

Khalil al-Haya, a senior Hamas official, said that Egyptian mediators intervened “after the resistance succeeded in warding off the aggression”.

He said militant groups in Gaza will commit to the ceasefire as long as Israel does. Israeli Cabinet minister Naftali Bennett told Israel’s Army Radio no agreement has been reached yet.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz also denied a ceasefire had been reached.

“Israel does not want the situation to deteriorate, but those who started the violence must stop it,” he told Israeli public radio, denying ceasefire claims by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israel will make (Hamas) pay for all fire against Israel.

The border area has been tense in recent weeks as Palestinians have held mass protests aimed at lifting an Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas seized power in 2007.

Dozens of Palestinians were killed when Israeli troops used live ammunition to keep protesters away from the border fence.

© – AFP, 2018

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