Israel strikes Gaza militant sites, Palestinians fire rockets

Israel strikes Gaza militant sites, Palestinians fire rockets

Sporadic Palestinian rocket attacks and incendiary kites from Gaza that have burned large tracts of farmland in Israeli border areas have increased public pressure on Netanyahu for a stronger armed response.

Gaza news outlets named the deceased as Ahmad Husan, 35, and his 13-year-old son Louay Husan. Around 10 other passers-by were wounded, the officials said.

In previous instances, explosions deemed "work accidents" have been the result of weapons manufacturing or tunnel collapses.

A cease-fire that ended a 24-hour round of fighting between Israel and Hamas appeared to be in effect despite warnings from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza.

Saturday saw dozens of Israeli air strikes, killing two Palestinians, while some 200 rockets and mortars were fired from the enclave at Israel.

Strikes on Saturday morning by Israeli jets have left smoke billowing above the Gaza Strip, and militants allied with Hamas stating it fired rockets across the border in return.

Earlier, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem also confirmed that officials from Egypt and some global sides, which he did not name, had contacted them.

Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman, said in an emailed statement late Saturday that regional and global mediators crafted an agreement that led to a truce.

Many rockets and mortars are intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defense system, but they set off air-raid sirens and force Israelis to hunker down in shelters.

Israel strikes Gaza militant sites, Palestinians fire rockets

"Our message to Hamas is that we can and will enhance the intensity of our effort if needed", he said.

Israel says Hamas has been orchestrating the weekly protests to distract from governance problems and provide cover for militants' cross-border attacks.

"We are ready to operate simultaneously in different theaters", Conricus said, referring to the dual threats from Syria and Gaza. "With regards to the rest of the week, it is important to emphasize that we have no intention of tolerating this - not rockets, not kites, not drones - nothing", Liberman said. There were no reports of an Israeli counter-attack in Gaza.

The Israeli assault targeted dozens of Hamas military facilities and killed two Palestinian teenagers. "While we want to destroy their infrastructure, we wanted to do that without hitting civilians or fighters which is more challenging when it happens during the daylight", the officer said.

Witnesses say Israeli warplanes dropped four bombs on an empty building near a Hamas police and security compound, reducing the old structure to rubble.

The cross-border violence comes amid rising tensions in recent months over Palestinian demands to reclaim ancestral homes in what is now Israel and a call for an end to the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt.

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.

Clashes in eastern Gaza with the Israeli army forces resumed Friday as part of rallies and protests organised since March 30.

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