Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Hamas, Israel reach ceasefire after a wave of strikes on Gaza

Hamas, Israel reach ceasefire after a wave of strikes on Gaza

Israel says Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, has been orchestrating the protests to distract from their governance problems and provide cover for militants' cross-border attacks.

"A weapons manufacturing site and storage facilities housing various types of weapons, including Hamas' naval capabilities" were also hit, the statement added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Saturday that Israel had inflicted its "hardest blow" on Hamas since the 2014 war with its wave of air strikes and threatened to intensify them if necessary.

Fifteen people have been wounded across Gaza, the ministry said.

Gaza has also been under Israel's all-out siege since 2007.

Israeli aircraft struck militant targets in the Gaza Strip and Palestinians launched dozens of mortar bombs and rockets from the enclave into Israel on Saturday, the Israeli military said.

Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but, citing security concerns, maintains tight control of its land and sea borders, which has reduced its economy to a state of collapse.

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The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday released detailed information on a five-story building it destroyed in one of its retaliatory airstrikes in the Gaza Strip the previous day, in response to repeated mortar and rocket attacks from the coastal enclave that have pummeled southern Israel.

Palestinian health officials said earlier that two teenagers had been killed by one air strike in what was one of the worst flare-ups since the 2014 Israel-Gaza war.

The cease-fire followed more than 40 Israeli air-strikes launched since Friday amid more than 100 rockets fired at southern Israel by militants in the Gaza Strip.

In addition, the IDF distributed "before and after" aerial photographs of another target, a Hamas battalion headquarters in the city of Beit Lahiya, also in northern Gaza, which was hit earlier in the day.

A 15-year-old Palestinian who tried to climb over the fence into Israel was shot dead, media reports in Gaza said.

Tensions in Gaza have been on the rise since Israeli forces have killed over 130 people participating in the Great March of Return and wounded thousands.

Three people were wounded in Israel when a rocket struck the southern town of Sderot, police said.

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Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from Gaza city, said that a house in Khan Younis belonging to a commander of the al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, was hit in one of the strikes, causing two injuries.

In advance of Friday's protest, the organising committee called on Palestinians to take part in the protests to express solidarity with Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank slated for total demolition by Israeli authorities. The army said protesters attacked soldiers with grenades, bombs, Molotov cocktails, and rocks.

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

The Gaza Strip is but one of the focal points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The weekly protests at Israel-Gaza border area have now entered their fourth month.

According to witnesses in Gaza, Saturday morning's air strikes damaged Hamas military infrastructure, although no such information emerged on the strikes occuring on Saturday evening.

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