IDF Pounds Hamas After 150+ Terror Rockets Fired at Israel

Swedish activists sent home after being arrested by Israel

The Gaza Health Ministry said that a Hamas fighter and the two civilians were killed in separate incidents.

The conflagration came as Egypt and UN-led efforts had been underway to reach a long-term ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas to bring to an end months of violence along the border and ease tensions in the impoverished Palestinian enclave.

A Hamas source told AFP that all groups in Gaza have halted their fire at Israel, claiming that the rockets were in response to Israeli attacks earlier this week.

Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations envoy for the Middle East conflict who has been seeking to negotiate a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, said he was "deeply alarmed" and called on all sides to "step back from the brink". Enas Khammash, 23, and her 18-month daughter Bayan were killed in an airstrike in Jafarawi in central Gaza, and her husband was reported to be moderately injured. Twenty-four of the slain protesters were minors, the ministry has said.

Earlier the same day, the Israeli army shelled a Hamas position in Gaza in retaliation for an alleged Palestinian attack on Israeli military equipment deployed near the buffer zone.

The BBC has been facing a backlash by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on Thursday morning over a story headline that was interpreted as "anti-Israel" and biased.

In the hours following the exchange, sirens sounded across southern Israel in communities that surround the Gaza Strip, including Sderot. Following the barrages throughout the night, the IAF struck over 100 terror targets including a plant used to manufacture components intended for the construction of tunnels as well as a tunnel for maritime terrorism along Israel's coast. "If the current escalation is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a trip to Colombia in order to meet with security officials for ceasefire negotiations.

Israel halted the supply of petroleum and natural gas to Gaza last week in response to incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza into southern Israel.

It stated that the two fighters were part of a military training in "Asqalan" center, one of its training locations in northern Gaza, and that many Palestinians, including political leaders of Hamas, were in attendance.

Also. ABC News reported that Israeli combat aircraft struck dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip and three people were reported killed there.

The incident occurred while a group of senior Hamas leaders from overseas were visiting Gaza to discuss the ceasefire efforts with local leaders.

Hamas military wing, Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, identified the victims of Tuesday's Israeli strike as Ahmed Murjan and Abdel-Hafez al-Silawi. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.

"What is required is for calm to be restored along the border between us and the Zionist enemy".

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