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Israel pounds Gaza, killing a pregnant woman and her child

09 August, 2018, 17:41 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Palestinian mourners carry the body of a Hamas member killed by Israeli fire during his funeral in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip

Earlier this week, there had been reports of intensive talks between Israel and Hamas for a long-term ceasefire.

On the Israeli side, at least seven people were wounded.

However, senior Israeli officials indicated that the country was prepared for a wider confrontation with Hamas. The U.N.'s Mideast envoy appealed for calm. Israeli fighters also struck a tunnel on the Mediterranean coast and targeted weapons and rocket manufacturing sites, as well as a military complex serving as a central logistic warehouse, the IDF noted. The three flare-ups, which follow months of tensions due to protests and clashes along the Gaza border, have raised fears of a fourth war between the two sides since 2008. Despite the animosity, the bitter enemies appear to be working through Egyptian mediators to avoid another war.

The attacks came after around 150 rockets were fired from Gaza into the occupied territories from late Wednesday into Thursday, the Israeli military added.

"This is a continuation of an effort to destroy the underground terrorist infrastructure that the IDF has been leading in recent years", read the statement.

The Israeli military, apparently referring to the same incident, said it returned fire after soldiers were fired upon from a Hamas post in the northern Gaza Strip, near the border with Israel.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that mounting violence began on Wednesday after militants shot at an IDF vehicle in Gaza Strip.

Sirens wailed in southern Israel, warning of incoming rockets from Gaza, and Israeli media reported six people were wounded by shrapnel in the border town of Sderot.

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Gaza health ministry said two of the victims were a pregnant Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old child, another victim was a Palestinian man. The military later released video footage of the airstrike. He said Israel has offered only an easing, but not an end, to the blockade.

"As of now, approximately 70 rocket launches were identified from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory".

An Israeli policeman surveys the scene where a rocket exploded in the southern city of Sderot, Israel August 8, 2018. Iron dome intercepted 28 rockets and most of the others fell on open ground but there was a direct hit on a house in the Hof Ashkelon region and injuries in Sderot and the Eshkol region. The ministry said Khammash was also pregnant and at least 12 others were injured.

Israel has not commented on the reported casualties in Gaza yet. "We are closing in on operation in Gaza", he said.

"We can say that actions led by the United Nations and Egypt are in advanced stages and we hope it could yield some good from them", he said.

Mladenov warned that "if the current escalation however is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

Palestinian sources said it was a drone attack, while the Israeli statement said it was tank fire.

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