World Media

Baby, pregnant mother killed as Israel strikes Gaza

Baby, pregnant mother killed as Israel strikes Gaza

Israel has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in Gaza since 2008 and says the blockade is necessary to keep them from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used for military purposes.

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

Palestinians militants have also fired rockets into Israel and the Israeli military has carried out dozens of air strikes in the enclave.

Those killed in the Gaza Strip included Enas Khammash, 23, and her 18-month-old daughter Bayan, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled enclave.

On Wednesday, UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov condemned the Hamas rocket fire and called for both sides to step away from the brink. At the same time Israeli aircraft struck 140 targets belonging to the Hamas Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip.

In a written statement, the Ezzeddin Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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Sirens were sounded in several areas close to the border with Gaza, warning residents to seek immediate shelter, the Israeli army said.

Israel has lost tracts of farmland and forest to fires started by kites and helium balloons laden with incendiary material which have caused fires in Israeli forests and farmlands and flown over the border by Palestinians in Gaza.

On Wednesday, an IDF tank again struck Hamas posts in Gaza after gunmen opened fire at a civilian vehicle involved in the construction of a barrier along the border.

A 34-year old man was lightly injured by broken glass, and damages to several cars were reported.

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

On Wednesday night IDF fighter jets attacked 12 Hamas targets along the Gaza Strip.

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The escalation comes after the Hamas leadership convened for a rare meeting in Gaza on Friday.

The attacks come as the United Nations and Egypt try to secure a deal between Israel and Hamas for a lasting truce.

The Hamas official reportedly said the truce agreement will begin with a two-week cease-fire trial period beginning in late August in accordance with ongoing talks mediated by Egypt.

Over the past four months, 158 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including at least 120 in the protests near the fence and others in Israeli air strikes and other incidents elsewhere in Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry and a local rights group.

In response, a tank targeted a Hamas position, since Israel holds the organization responsible for all violence coming from Gaza.

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