Bird Sent To Israel From Gaza Wearing A Harness Holding Flammable Material

Bird Sent To Israel From Gaza Wearing A Harness Holding Flammable Material

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told community leaders in a southern border town that Israel is engaged in a "lengthy battle" following a weekend during which the military struck several Hamas sites in Gaza, and the militant group retaliated with rocket and mortar fire.

Israel has accused Hamas and other Palestinian militant organisations of co-ordinating the arson attacks but numerous perpetrators are believed to be teenagers and children as young as... "We can not stand idle when we see two million Palestinians in Gaza living in such awful conditions as they do now".

The all-clear for Gaza border communities came on Sunday despite a spattering of pre-dawn rocket fire, hours after a ceasefire between Israel and militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad was due to come into effect, ending the most intense conflagration between the groups since the 2014 war, known as Operation Protective Edge. Israeli defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel was tightening its naval blockade to limit Palestinians from sailing beyond three nautical miles off Gaza's coast.

After Hamas accepted an Egypt-mediated ceasefire late Saturday, the situation calmed down, but flaming kites and balloons continued to waft over into Israel, with the military signalling a new policy of striking back immediately.

Israel says some 2,500 acres of nature reserves and parks close to Gaza have been burnt thus far and it is reported to have delivered messages to Hamas that if the fires continue, it risks sparking a full-fledged war, like the three they have waged over the past decade.

Following a barrage of almost 200 rockets and mortars fired into Israel on Saturday, an errant rocket fell short and knocked out electrical lines carrying power into Gaza, Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) reported Monday.

It comes days after Israel suspended imports and exports through the crossing except for basic humanitarian supplies - fuel, food, some medical equipment and medicine, livestock, and animal feed - in order to put pressure on Hamas.

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Later in the day, Israel said a projectile - possibly a rocket - was sacked from the Gaza Strip but appeared to have fallen within the Palestinian enclave.

"This is what we did yesterday", Netanyahu said. "The world must not remain silent in the face of these crimes against humanity", read a Hamas statement.

With Israel focused on efforts to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military foothold in neighboring Syria, it has been wary of escalating violence in Gaza.

Israel says it is defending its sovereign border and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the border fence and attack Israeli civilians and soldiers.

United Nations officials and rights activists have repeatedly called for Israel to lift the blockade against Gaza, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

Since the protests and clashes broke out along the border on March 30, at least 141 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.

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