Israel launches strikes on Hamas in Gaza after rocket

Rocket in Mishmeret Israel 1

"No one from the resistance movements, including Hamas, has an interest in firing rockets from the Gaza Strip towards the enemy", the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, evoking the possibility that "bad weather" may have been to blame. The border appeared to have calmed down by night-time.

Hamas TV also reported that a ceasefire agreement had been reached.

Witnesses reported seeing Hamas evacuating personnel from government premises. Israeli officials did not comment on the report.

A long-range rocket fired from the Gaza Strip slammed into a house in central Israel and wounded seven people early Monday. It was targeted alongside IDF strikes conducted throughout the Gaza Strip.

Dozens of explosions rocked the coastal enclave and ambulance sirens echoed through the night.

No damage or injuries were caused, but Israel responded to that and further rocket fire by hitting what it said were around 100 Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip.

None of this justifies attacks on Israeli civilians, of course, but it should remind us that Israel is the one attacking Palestinian civilians on a daily basis.

Netanyahu planned to cut short his Washington visit due to the security situation and return home after meeting Trump.

"Israel will not tolerate this". I will not tolerate this.

Trump told reporters with Netanyahu at his side that Israel has the "absolute right" to defend itself.

A police officer inspects the damage to a house hit by a rocket in Mishmeret central Israel
A police officer inspects the damage to a house hit by a rocket in Mishmeret central Israel

The flare-up comes after mounting tensions in recent weeks.

The air strikes in Gaza come hours after a rocket from the Palestinian enclave hit a house in Tel Aviv. There was no claim of responsibility for the early morning attack.

Israel's dilemma, ever since Hamas seized power in a violent coup in 2007, has been whether to choose a hostile radical Islamist regime-yet one that is capable of ruling Gaza and has been partially responsive to deterrence-or to topple the regime. Israel's Channel 13 reports that a house in the border town of Sderot was struck, but there were no injuries.

Egypt managed to negotiate a ceasefire between the two nations Monday evening.

A house lies in ruins after being hit by a rocket in Mishmeret, central Israel, on March 25, 2019.

The spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Guterres was "gravely concerned".

The hospital treating the wounded said seven Israelis were injured lightly by burns and shrapnel, including three children.

Israeli soldiers watch as a military armoured bulldozer moves concrete barricade blocks to close a road near the border with Gaza in the wake of the missile attack. Bomb shelters in Tel Aviv, Rishon Lizion, Beer Sheva and other cities have been opened. Israel blamed them on Hamas, though a security official later said the salvo was set off by accident.

Gaza is home to 2 million Palestinians, majority descendants of people who fled or were driven from homes in Israel when it was founded in 1948. Since Hamas took over two years later, Israel has maintained a security blockade, along with Egypt, that has reduced Gaza's economy to what the World Bank calls a collapse.

The Israeli Prime Minister took most of his time to expound on the important promises made and promises fulfilled by Trump, including moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, ending the calamitous Nuclear Iran Deal and imposing severe and crippling sanctions on Iran, and now recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights. He was going to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and was to be hosted at a White House dinner.

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