Hamas claims cease-fire after new round of fighting with Israel

Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City

Hamas claims cease-fire after new round of fighting with Israel

So far, it is reported the death of 1 Hamas member and 12 wounded after the attacks, as well as the death of a 23-year-old woman and her son a year and a half after an attack in the city of Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza, according to Palestinian local media.

Twelve Palestinians were lightly wounded in previous strikes, and another 18 were wounded when what Palestinians said was a cultural center was hit by an Israeli airstrike, Palestinian health ministry officials said.

Israeli Army Radio said the rocket was a long-range Grad capable of reaching Israel's heartland.

An Egyptian-Palestinian cultural society also has an office in the building.

It was not clear if the escalation, the latest in a series of intense exchanges of fire in recent months, would derail the indirect negotiations between Israel and Gaza's Hamas militant rulers.

Israel's military said that no rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel overnight and it conducted no airstrikes in Gaza against Hamas targets.

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A Palestinian woman carries a girl as she walks past the site of an Israeli air strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip August 9, 2018. Nevertheless, there is no indication that Israel's "waves of attacks against targets across Gaza" was in response to the scores of Palestinian rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians.

An Israeli man outside a house in Sderot damaged by shrapnel from a rocket fired from Gaza.

After four hours of discussion about the escalation in the south and the hard situation in which Israelis there are living, Israel's Ministerial Committee on National Security instructed the IDF to "continue to act with force against terrorist elements". One of the officials said "they consider this round of escalation over".

"Palestinian factions will respect calm as long as Israel does", he added.

"We urge the Palestinians and the Israelis to display restraint and to take measures towards ruling out the relapses of violence with unpredictable aftermaths", Zakharova said.

Israel has killed more than 150 people since March when Palestinians began to stage protests on the border to demand an end to the blockade and the return of the Palestinians to the occupied territories. A statement issued by his office before reports a truce had been reached said the forum instructed the military to "keep acting with force against the terrorists".

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Rocket sirens were still sounding in Israeli neighborhoods on Wednesday evening, while strikes in Gaza continued.

Israel's Iron Dome defense system intercepted more than 30 rockets, and others landed in open areas in southern Israel, said the IDF. The military says they targeted more than 150 Hamas militant targets in the Gaza strip.

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

In a statement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for the worldwide community to step in, blaming Israel for "the escalation on our people in the Gaza Strip". Large turnout at the protests has also been driven by widespread desperation in Gaza, amid worsening conditions linked to the blockade.

The Gaza Strip, home to almost two million Palestinians, has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007.

As Israeli airstrikes persist and the living situation gravely worsens, Palestinians in Gaza are on the brink of a full-blown humanitarian crisis due to Israel's 10-year siege.

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