‘Ceasefire reached’ between Israel and Gaza militants

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Israel and armed groups in Gaza have reached a ceasefire after a surge in cross-border violence, according to a Palestinian official.

The truce was secured by Egyptian and international efforts, said a Palestinian official who spoke to Reuters anonymously.

A picture taken on July 14, 2018 shows a smoke plume risisng following an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, near the border with Egypt. - Israel's military said it had launched air strikes targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip on July 14 as rockets and mortars were lobbed into southern Israel from the blockaded Palestinian enclave. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
  ‘Ceasefire reached’ between Israel and Gaza militants skynews israel palestine gaza 4362172
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Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip

It follows an escalation in the violence, with Israel launching “the hardest strikes” against Gaza since 2014, according to a statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel said some 100 rockets were launched from Gaza at southern Israel.

A spokesperson for the Israeli prime minister did not immediately comment on the ceasefire.

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.

In a statement, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said they had launched strikes against multiple militant sites in Gaza in response to renewed violence along the border.

It said its jets targeted a Hamas tunnel in the southern portion of the Gaza Strip early on Saturday morning, alongside Hamas military compounds.

A picture taken on July 14, 2018 shows Palestinian rockets being fired from Gaza City towards Israel. - Israel's military said it had launched air strikes targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip on July 14 as rockets and mortars were lobbed into southern Israel from the blockaded Palestinian enclave. (Photo by BASHAR TALEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read BASHAR TALEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Palestinian rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel

The violent exchanges have left two people killed in Gaza, according to Palestinian health officials, with 12 more injured. Three Israelis were injured by a rocket which landed in Sderot.

Palestinian protesters throw rocks during clashes with Israeli security forces following a funeral in the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank city on July 14, 2018. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP) (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images)
  ‘Ceasefire reached’ between Israel and Gaza militants skynews israel gaza rock palestine 4362170
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Palestinian protesters throw rocks during clashes with Israeli security forces

Mr Netanyahu said: “The IDF has struck Hamas with the hardest blow since Operation Protective Edge and we will increase the strength of our attacks as necessary”.

A picture taken on July 14, 2018 shows smoke plumes risisng following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. - Israel's military said it had launched air strikes targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip on July 14 as rockets and mortars were lobbed into southern Israel from the blockaded Palestinian enclave. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
  ‘Ceasefire reached’ between Israel and Gaza militants skynews israel palestine gaza 4362169
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Smoke plumes rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza

Hamas said it fired rockets to discourage Israel from taking further action.

Such rocket attacks have become a regular feature of the asymmetric conflict between Hamas and Israel, driving the IDF to develop the Iron Dome defence system to intercept and destroy incoming rockets.

A man walks past a building that was damaged by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on July 14, 2018. - Israel's military said it had launched air strikes targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip on July 14 as rockets and mortars were lobbed into southern Israel from the blockaded Palestinian enclave. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Buildings were damaged by the Israeli air strikes

According to the IDF, a military officer was lightly wounded by a grenade thrown at the border on Friday.

An Israeli soldier stands next to an Iron Dome defence system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, near the city of Ashkelon on July 14, 2018. - Rockets were fired at southern Israel from Gaza, the Israeli military said, without causing any casualties. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Israel’s Iron Dome defence system can intercept and destroy rockets

On the same day, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead as he reportedly attempted to climb the fence into Israel.



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