Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Gaza ceasefire holds after two-day flare-up, protests expected

Gaza ceasefire holds after two-day flare-up, protests expected

Thursday's events are the latest in a series of severe flare ups over the past few months in Gaza, leading many local and global officials to speculate that another large-scale Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory could be imminent. The U.N.'s Mideast envoy appealed for calm.

"Israel is being inundated with Hamas rocket fire from Gaza", the coalition said in a tweet that included a picture of the devastation and text saying "180 rockets and counting".

But Hamas, an Islamist militant group, quickly took greater control of the demonstrations.

Despite the animosity, the enemies have signalled, through their contacts with Egypt, that they want to avoid another war.

After four hours of discussion about the escalation in the south and the hard situation in which Israelis there are living, Israel's Ministerial Committee on National Security instructed the IDF to "continue to act with force against terrorist elements".

A Hamas militant was also killed in the strikes and at least 12 others injured, the Health Ministry said.

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In addition, about the incident Tuesday in which Israel fired on a Hamas post after it thought its troops on the border were targeted, Kershner again twice referred to Hamas responding.

Mladenov's statement came amid the latest surge in violence this week, in which Hamas fired over 150 rockets at Israel.

Nearly 200 rockets and mortar shells were fired from within Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian movements at towns and villages in Israel, provoking a similar number of attacks by the Israeli Air Force. At least three Palestinians died - a pregnant woman, her 1-year-old daughter and a Hamas militant.

One of the protesters suffered a serious head injury, the ministry reported.

Kamal Khamash, brother-in-law of the killed woman, said the family was asleep when the projectile hit the house. "Even the most respected news sources bow Israeli pressure to present Israel's war crimes as passively as possible". The Israeli army said in a statement that forces struck 150 "terror targets".

In southern Israel, two Thai laborers were among the seven wounded by rocket fire, and rockets damaged buildings in the cities of Sderot and Ashkelon. The military said that the Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted at least 30 rockets and the majority landed in open areas.

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"The deliberate targeting of a cultural centre with airstrikes and a barbaric act", said Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman.

It said the Palestinian "resistance" had fired a large number of rockets at "enemy positions in the Gaza envelope".

On Friday morning, the IDF Home Front Command announced that all security restrictions in southern Israel had been lifted. It was the third severe flare-up of violence since July and came despite attempts by United Nations officials and Egypt to secure a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas.

"If current escalation, however, is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people". Across the border, rocket warning sirens sounded nearly non-stop from sunset on Wednesday in Israeli towns and villages where residents sheltered in bunkers.

A senior Hamas official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the deal would formally go into effect at midnight (5 p.m. Thursday ET), according to the AP. He said Hamas is demanding the complete lifting of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, while Israel has offered only to ease the restrictions.

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