Hamas slams 'barbaric' airstrike on Gaza City building

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Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special envoy who is involved in Egyptian efforts to broker a truce, said in a statement on Thursday that he's "deeply alarmed" by "multiple rockets fired toward communities in southern Israel" the day before.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet said in a statement late Thursday that it had directed the Israeli military "to continue taking strong action" against militants in Gaza.

Following a well-worn pattern, The New York Times is again downplaying Palestinian belligerence, this time obscuring the fact that intensive Palestinian rocket attacks against southern Israel prompted a wave of Israeli airstrikes on Hamas site in the Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours. The Israeli army has killed at least 158 Palestinians during those protests, and a Gaza sniper killed an Israeli soldier.

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The three flare-ups since July, 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.

Gaza militants had at around noon halted fire after targeting Israel with some 180 rockets and mortars beginning Wednesday night and into Thursday. An Egyptian-Palestinian cultural society also has an office in the building. Palestinians have thrown explosive devices and opened fire at forces along the border in numerous instances over the past few months, the military said.

Israel, Palestinian Territories: Security Forces Kill 2 Hamas Fighters
However, Israeli media reported that an Israeli force came under fire near the borderline in northern Gaza . An IDF tank destroyed a Hamas watchtower after shots were fired at Israeli soldiers near the Gaza border.

The building was not publicly known to include facilities for Hamas.

In nearby Israeli communities, residents were sent scrambling to bomb shelters.

"Factions of the resistance consider this round of escalation over as far as we are concerned, and the continuation of calm depends on the behaviour of the occupation", the Palestinian official said, using militant groups' term for Israel.

Palestinians inspect a house that was damaged in an Israeli airstrike on Dair al Balah in the center of Gaza Strip on August 9, 2018.

A pregnant Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old child, and a militant from the Islamist Hamas group that rules Gaza, were killed in the Israeli attacks, and at least five civilians were wounded, local medical officials said.

"Everyday life in besieged Gaza is shaped by Israeli policy", IMEU added, posting a video compilation that captures the living conditions of millions of the almost two million people living in the occupied Gaza Strip.

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A Hamas militant was also killed in the overnight strikes and at least 12 others injured, the health ministry said.

The 140-square-mile strip, under partial blockade by Israel for more than a decade, suffers from chronic unemployment and a lack of infrastructure and services.

"What I can say is that we targeted by definition only military targets that were clearly used by Hamas where there was an active presence of Hamas and nothing else", he told journalists on Thursday morning. Some rockets landed in the communities, and many others were shot down by the Iron Dome, which is created to intercept only rockets headed towards population centers.

After the BBC published a headline that read, "Israeli air strikes "kill woman and a toddler, '" the Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a formal complaint to the British outlet, and it ultimately changed the headline to, "Gaza air strikes 'kill woman and child" after rockets hit Israel".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the global community to "immediately and urgently intervene".

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

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Protesters demand the "right of return" to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

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