Gaza's militant Hamas rulers said on Saturday that they had accepted a ceasefire that ended a massive Israeli attack on militant positions after a soldier was shot, which withdrew the sides from a real war.
Israel and Hamas have led three such wars in the last decade, and Hamas approved the second ceasefire in one week under heavy Egyptian and international pressure. READ MORE: Syria Says Military Area Aleppo Hit by Israel Rockets
Even after last week's ceasefire ended the most violent rocket fire and Israeli air strikes since the 2014 war, fire dragons and balloons continued to break away Gaza to Israel and thereby extinguished the fires in the fields. Israel has since stepped up its strikes to signal its new commitment threshold, after largely ignoring months.
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Israel says it has no interest in waging another war with Hamas, but says it will no longer tolerate Gaza's militant campaign to fly the incendiary to Israel.
On Friday, a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier along the border – the first victim he suffered in four years and Israel unleashed an offensive that destroyed more than 60 Hamas targets, including three battalion headquarters. Four Palestinians were killed, three of whom were Hamas fighters.
"The attack has dealt a severe blow to Hamas training group, command and control capabilities, weapons, air defense and logistical capabilities along with additional military infrastructure," the Israeli military said in a statement, adding that the strikes "like necessary intensify ".
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Israel's Leading Leadership Entered Friday Late into the Night (19659002) In a brief statement on early Saturday, Hamas said Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the movement accepted the truce that had been negotiated by the Egyptian and United Nations, and that calm had been restored. Later, the Israeli military announced a return to civilian routine along the impermanent border.
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The latest outbreak of violence comes months later The Hamas-organized weekly border protests were aimed in part at protests against the Israeli Egyptian blockade of Gaza. Since the protests began on March 30, more than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.
Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade against Gaza for over a decade to weaken Hamas. The blockade has caused widespread economic hardship. Israel says the naval blockade is necessary to protect its citizens from arms smuggling.
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Israel says it defends its sovereign frontier and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for trials have to break the border fence and attack Israeli civilians and soldiers.
"Hamas terrorists opened fire on Israelis today, these are not" demonstrators, "Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon wrote on Twitter on Friday," We will not tolerate attacks that endanger Israelis. Under no circumstances.
Friday's Israeli retaliation against the assassination of the soldier was fierce, but the reaction of Hamas was much milder with only a few projectiles intercepted by Israel.