Smoke rises over Gaza as Israeli military renews bombing

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On Saturday night, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups announced that they agreed to a ceasefire with Israel, following talks with Egypt and other global bodies.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters: "Efforts by many parties have continued since the beginning of the escalation and the Israeli bombardment on Gaza. This tunnel is part of a Hamas terror tunnel network", a statement by the Israeli army said.

The cause of the blast, hours after a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the enclave was announced, was not immediately known.

Earlier in the day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out * a href="https://newswire.storyful.com/storylines/*/stories/205481" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" *air and mortar strikes on multiple sites in the Gaza Strip which they said belonged to Hamas.

A senior Israeli defence official said: "Only the facts on the ground will dictate our further response".

The Israeli army said air strikes carried out in the morning hit "complexes used to prepare arson terror attacks and a Hamas terror training facility".

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However, Israeli airstrikes Saturday have injured hundreds of civilians, and killed two Palestinian teens who were at a public park next to a unfinished building, Gaza's Health Ministry reported.

In the Saturday afternoon salvo, Palestinians fired more than 60 rockets and mortar shells and sirens wailed frequently in southern Israel.

The Israeli military said that in the initial hours of the ceasefire militants fired two rockets towards Israel, of which one was intercepted by its Iron Dome system.

The Gaza Health Ministry said the 15-year-old boy killed was shot in the chest. The tiny territory has been under Israeli and Egyptian blockade since Hamas, considered a terrorist group by much of the West, wrested power in 2007.

The Israeli military said it had struck more than 40 targets within several militant compounds belonging to Hamas, in what it described as one of its widest operations since the 2014 conflict.

The Israeli military said Friday's protesters were throwing burning tires, stones, explosive devices and fire bombs at its soldiers and that one of its officers was wounded by a Palestinian grenade hurled across the border fence.

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An Israeli man stands outside a house damaged by Palestinian rocket fire in the southern city of Sderot, July 14, 2018.

Israelis living in nearby communities were ordered by the IDF to bring their children indoors and to close their windows due to the necessity of using tear gas to disperse the thousands of violent Gazans attempting to breach the security fence at the border.

Rocket warning sirens went off in the coastal city of Ashkelon, about 12 kilometres from the enclave, further north than in recent rocket attacks.

Israel says its use of live fire is necessary to defend its borders and stop infiltrations.

Since the protests began on March 30, at least 138 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, with more than 160,000 wounded.

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