Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Hamas says Israel agreed to cease-fire after day of heavy fighting

Hamas says Israel agreed to cease-fire after day of heavy fighting

Israeli military forces struck the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, blowing up an attack tunnel and more than 30 other targets, after militants unleashed their biggest barrage on southern Israel since the 2014 war in the Palestinian territory.

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

The attacks continued throughout Tuesday, triggering dozens of rocket sirens in southern Israel and wounding five Israelis, one of them suffering moderate injuries.

"An agreement was reached to return to the [2014] ceasefire understandings in the Gaza Strip", Hamas' deputy chief in Gaza, Khalil al-Hayya said.

There was relative calm in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz denied talk of a deal, though a senior defence official reportedly said Israel would refrain from further strikes if there was no more fire from Gaza.

Naftali Bennett, Israel's education minister, told Israel's Army Radio that no such agreement was reached.

The violence followed weeks of deadly unrest along the border between Israel and the blockaded Palestinian enclave. One mortar shell landed in a kindergarten shortly before it opened, wounding one person. No children were present at the time.

In exchange for Hamas ending the protests, Egypt announced that it was opening the Rafah border crossing with Gaza.

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The U.N. Security Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss Palestinian rocket strikes on Israel, at the request of the United States which wants the top U.N. body to strongly condemn the attacks.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Other estimates listed the number as high as 130.

Israel unilaterally withdrew its settlements and military presence from Gaza in 2005. Explosions shook the Palestinian enclave and smoke rose from the sites hit.

Today Iran-backed Palestinian terrorists like Hamas launched over 100 rockets & mortars at Israel.

The Iron Drome missile shield intercepted several missiles over the Israeli city of Ashqelon, while Ofakim, a city 20 kilometers west of Beersheba, was also targeted by what the IDF said were Iranian missiles. "We will continue to act in Israel's best interests", he said.

"They have the ability, the control and the power to escalate or to deescalate the situation, to rein in the Palestinian's and their own extremist factions in Hamas or to escalate the situation", said military spokesman Jonathan Conricus.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but there was speculation the mortars were fired by Islamic Jihad in revenge for a recent incident that left three of its members dead. "Unlike Hamas, they do not have any responsibility to the civilians in Gaza", he said.

Danny Danon, Israel's permanent representative to the United Nations, blasted the proposed resolution calling it "shameful" and crafted to help Gaza's rulers Hamas.

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