World News

Hamas claims cease-fire reached after Israeli airstrikes; Israel denies it

Hamas claims cease-fire reached after Israeli airstrikes; Israel denies it

No Palestinian or Israeli injuries have been reported from the exchange of fire.

But after Tuesday's flare-up, followed by sirens and explosions into the night, there were Palestinian claims of a ceasefire.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli blockade for the past 12 years, severely restricting access to vital supplies for the 2 million Palestinians packed into the narrow coastal enclave.

The pretext for the Islamic Jihad attack on Israel was the liquidation of three Islamic Jihad operatives who were attempting to infiltrate into Israel from the Rafah area earlier this week.

In an interview with Israel's Channel 10, the minister said Israel's assassination operations must continue in the south "as of tonight", while pointing an accusing finger at Hamas leaders who he said were "responsible for the escalation and deterioration in the security situation".

The IDF Spokesperson added that the Israeli attack in response to the firing of projectiles from Gaza will continue to grow if necessary.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad also started to evacuate military bases and installations across Gaza in anticipation of the Israeli retaliation.

Later in the day, further rockets or mortar rounds were intercepted by Israel from Gaza, the army said. No children were present at the time.

The UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss the tensions, at the request of the United States which wants the top UN body to strongly condemn the attacks on Israel.

"The recent attacks out of Gaza are the largest we have seen since 2014", said U.N. Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyWeb of intrigue as Guatemala president fends off corruption probe Poll: Trump approval rating at 45 percent Haley: Trump's unpredictability a factor in pushing North Korea sanctions MORE.

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Still, Kuwait, a non-permanent council member that represents Arab countries, is hoping to win a high number of votes in favor of its proposal to highlight Washington's isolation on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged a forceful response to the barrage of mortar shells fired.

Shortly after he spoke, Israel's military began carrying out air strikes in Gaza. Explosions shook the Palestinian enclave and smoke rose from the sites hit.

Tel Aviv said about 70 rockets and mortars had been fired at Israel throughout the day.

The IDF responded by launching dozens of airstrikes targeting militants in Gaza later in the day.

Hamas said in a statement "what the resistance carried out this morning comes within the framework of the natural right to defend our people".

Israeli forces later stopped and seized the main protest boat as it approached the blockade limit at nine nautical miles, while others were said to have turned back.

They peaked on May 14, when at least 61 Palestinians were killed in clashes as tens of thousands of Gazans protested the USA transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem the same day.

Demonstrations and clashes have continued at a low level since then.

Israeli forces killed at least 116 Palestinians and wounded thousands including women and unarmed demonstrators in the protests, drawing foreign censure of Israel's deadly tactics.


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