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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Israel Restricts Activities near Gaza after 30 Rockets Launched

JERUSALEM Ė Israeli authorities have limited civil activities in communities near Gaza, after Palestinian militias launched about 30 rockets and mortar shells on Monday night.

The Israeli military responded by bombing targets in the Gaza Strip.

In the communities adjacent to Gaza, Israelís Home Front Command ordered the closure of schools and other educational institutions, told people not to go to work except if they have a nearby air defense shelter and limited public services.

It also banned meetings of more than 300 people in enclosed spaces and ordered that no agricultural work be done.

The measures affect the regional councils of Hof Ashkelon, Merhavim and Bnei Shimon and the cities of Netivot, Ofakim and Ashkelon.

Overnight, anti-aircraft alarms sounded continuously in these areas, as well as in the regional councils of Eshkol and Shaar HaNegev and in the city of Sderot.

According to the Israeli military, Palestinian militias launched approximately 30 projectiles between 10:00 pm and 3:00 am, some of which the Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted, with the rest of the rockets and mortars falling on open ground.

In response, the Israeli military attacked 15 targets in the northern Gaza Strip including a Hamas compound in Beit Hanoun and another belonging to Islamic Jihad in the town of Beit Lahia.

The military said in a statement that it sees Hamas as responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip, which the Islamist group has run since 2007.

On Monday night, official Hamas sources said that they had reached a truce with Israel, mediated by Egypt, according to which the parties would respect a ceasefire, which according to the media would begin Tuesday night.

The shooting proceeded during the early morning and the anti-aircraft alarms continued sounding in several locations at least until 3:00 am.

On Monday, there was an escalation of tension with the launch of a rocket in the early morning from Gaza which hit an Israeli house, 120 kilometers away, and wounded seven people in a family, including three children aged 12, 3 and a year and a half.

The situation led Israelís Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to suspend the trip he had started in Washington DC, where he met President Donald Trump on Monday, and return earlier than expected to deal with the security situation in Israel, where he is expected to land Tuesday morning.

 

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