Hamas announces cease-fire between Israel, Gaza groups

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting

"If the terror from Gaza continues, we will intensify our retaliations".

"The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios and is determined to act against terror operatives.", the IDF said. It was struck early in the morning just before the children came to school.

Three Israeli soldiers were injured in Tuesday's barrages, two lightly and a third moderately, the army said.

In a statement the group's spokesman said after Egyptian mediation a "ceasefire agreement was reached with Israel to return to calm".

Israeli leaders would not immediately confirm that an agreement had been reached, although local media reported that Israel had told Hamas in a message that if the rockets stopped, the airstrikes would, too.

"All factions, including Hamas and Jihad, are committed to understandings for calm", he noted.

Hamas said in a statement Tuesday that "what the resistance carried out this morning comes within the framework of the natural right to defend our people". "They do not want to see any progress to be made between Hamas and Israel because it works against their ideology".

This latest episode also followed weeks of deadly demonstrations and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border, beginning on 30 March.

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More than 110 Palestinians have been killed as Israeli troops used live fire to prevent a breach of the border fence.

Shortly after he spoke, Israel's military began air strikes in Gaza. Explosions shook the impoverished territory, which has been blockaded by Israel for more than a decade, and smoke rose from areas hit.

The high Palestinian death toll in the border protests has drawn strong global criticism of Israel, with rights groups saying Israel's use of live fire is illegal because in many cases it has struck unarmed protesters who did not pose an imminent threat to Israeli soldiers. "If they release the reins there will be a very painful strike", he said. Egypt mediated the ceasefire reached in 2014, and have been instrumental in communicating between Hamas and Israel. "There has still been no declaration of war, but the possibility exists". The meeting is set to take place Wednesday.

"It is UNACCEPTABLE to indiscriminately fire at civilian communities!"

Hamas had largely abided by an Egyptian-brokered truce that ended the seven-week Gaza war four years ago. He added that "of course, things could change".

The new text "calls for the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population" in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip, according to the draft obtained by AFP news agency.

For several weeks, Hamas led violent protests and attacks along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip which it dubbed "The Great March of Return.".

Egypt intervened on Tuesday to defuse tension after Israel launched the most devastating attacks on Gaza since the bloody conflict in 2014.

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