Hamas fighter killed as Israel strikes Gaza after rockets fired from enclave

Lamar Ellis
August 9, 2018

Smoke plumes could be seen rising from Gaza City following the military's announcement it was targeting "terror sites in the Gaza Strip".

The military said that it identified 36 rockets fired from Gaza at Israel and that the Iron Dome defense system intercepted several of them.

One Palestinian rocket hit a house, Israeli media said, showing footage of houses and cars pockmarked with shrapnel.

Her husband was reportedly injured.

"The Israeli strike was conducted in response to the rockets launched from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory over the course of the evening and night", it said. A member of the Hamas' armed wing was also killed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of the security cabinet due to the growing tensions in the Gaza Strip which was attended by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and senior commanders.

Clashes along the Gaza border since the end of March have seen at least 163 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire.

The Israeli army said Wednesday's violence began with militants firing guns at an Israeli engineering vehicle, and Israeli troops responding with tank fire.

A watchtower of the Qassam Brigades in Al Zaytun neighbourhood was targeted by the Israeli shelling.

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The agreement stipulates Gaza's Rafah border crossing to Egypt will be permanently opened and the Kerem Shalom crossing, the blockaded enclave's only intake point for commercial goods, will ease restrictions "dramatically", according to the report.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that as part of the deal, which was brokered by Egypt and the United Nations with input from Turkey and Qatar, Hamas and Israel would initially observe a two-week trial cease-fire.

The area where the rockets fell have been closed off by the police as bomb disposal units were called to the scene.

Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for all fire coming from the long-blockaded coastal territory.

The strikes came after two fighters from the military wing of Hamas, which rules Gaza, were killed by Israeli fire on Tuesday. Twenty-four of the slain protesters were minors, the ministry has said.

The truce, which is planned to last five years, would include the release of four Israelis: the remains of two fallen IDF soldiers and two living, mentally handicapped men who wondered across the Gaza border including two soldiers.

Protesters demand the "right of return" to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

The Gaza Strip, home to almost two million Palestinians, has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007.

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