Gaza's Hamas rulers say cease-fire reached with Israel

02 June, 2018, 22:12 | Author: Irene Delgado
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On Tuesday night, a rocket hit an Israeli home near the Gaza border, but no one was hurt, the military said.

The attempt to leave Gaza by sea, which comes amid a barrage of mortars and rockets being fired at southern Israel on Tuesday from Gaza, is being called a "reverse flotilla" because it is the first public attempt to break out of the blockade and not into it.

Barcelona joined other European cities in endorsing Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions' call for an arms embargo on Israel after the murderous attack on Palestinian protesters in Gaza over the past few months.

Late Tuesday, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad said a ceasefire agreement had been reached to restore calm, though the Israeli army declined to comment.

Now, Professor Abusada said by phone, the groups believe that their rocket and mortar fire had succeeded in sending "a crystal-clear message to Israel that if Israel targets Palestinians and bombs Gaza, it should expect Palestinian retaliation".

There were conflicting statements about whether the boats would seek to break Israel's blockade, which now allows them to travel nine nautical miles (16 kilometers) off the coast.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for all violence emanating from the coastal enclave, as it has ruled Gaza since 2007.

Unidentified Palestinians were killed when Israeli soldiers opened fire at the eastern border of al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.

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Several shells evaded Iron Dome rockets and landed in Israeli communities on Tuesday morning, including one that exploded in the yard of a kindergarten.

Multiple Hamas members have been killed in recent weeks, some during the protests and others in targeted Israeli strikes.

But neither Israel nor the Palestinian factions in Gaza went full bore in their attacks, a sign that neither side was interested in escalating hostilities.

Shortly after Netanyahu spoke, Israel's military began carrying out strikes in Gaza. The exchange of fire on Tuesday and into the early hours of Wednesday had raised the possibility of yet another war in the beleaguered Palestinian enclave run by Islamist movement Hamas, which would be the fourth since 2008.

The latest flare-up follows weeks of Israel-Gaza violence which has seen more than 100 Palestinians killed.

But the protests appear to be fueled primarily by a desire to ease the blockade.

The military said the vessel was stopped without much incident and would be towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod where the 17 people on board would be questioned and then returned to the Gaza Strip. Israel has defended the killings by claiming that Hamas was using the demonstrations as cover for breaching the border fence and launching attacks on Israeli positions.

Hamas forcibly wrested control of Gaza from the rival Fatah party in 2007 after winning legislative elections, triggering an Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has severely restricted the movement of most of Gaza's inhabitants.

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