IAF Bombs Hamas Internal Security HQ in Northern Gaza

Highway leading to Gaza

As part of a cease-fire deal, Israel is insisting that Hamas stop sending incendiary kites and balloons over the border, Israeli and Palestinian officials say. Israel rarely acknowledges reaching any such agreement with Hamas, a group it designates as a terrorist organization and with which it has fought three wars in the past decade.

The flare-up comes as Egypt is trying to broker a long-term cease-fire between the two sides.

He added that he didn't think that an Israeli military campaign would lead to an escalation of violence on Israel's other borders.

Abu Mujahed, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committee, a smaller faction in Gaza, said on his Facebook page: "Upon Egyptian and global efforts, a ceasefire between Palestinian resistance began conditional on the commitment of the occupation".

A pregnant Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old child were killed in the Israeli attacks overnight on Wednesday, as was a Hamas militant, Gaza medical officials said. "What was the guilt of the baby?" asked Said Khamash, a cousin of the woman's husband, who was injured in the air strike, which left a gaping hole in the ceiling of their modest home in the Wadi al-Salqa area of central Gaza.

The official told Haaretz that Hamas "will pay the price for its violations in the last four months", seemingly referring to the ongoing Great March of Return protests that began on March 30th, over which time Israeli forces have killed at least 160 Palestinians and injured 17,000 more.

Ambulance sirens echoed through the night in Gaza, where families huddled at home as powerful explosions thundered through the strip. Across the border rocket warning sirens sounded nearly non-stop from sunset on Wednesday in Israeli towns and villages where residents sheltered in bunkers.

Palestinian officials have confirmed that the resistance movement Hamas and the Israeli regime have agreed on a ceasefire mediated by Egypt to stop cross-border fire in the Gaza Strip. Police said they found the remnants in an open area on the outskirts of the city of Beersheba and that no one was hurt.

Palestinians gather around a building after it was bombed by an Israeli aircraft, in Gaza City, Aug. 9, 2018. An Egyptian-Palestinian cultural society also has an office in the building.

As Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, put it, the "current Israeli bombardment sequence in Gaza started when the Israeli military killed two Palestinians, lied about why, and later admitted to doing so just as a high level Palestinian delegation was on its way to Cairo to discuss longer term cease-fire".

Earlier on Thursday morning, IDF jets targeted over 100 of Hamas' strategic military sites, including 10 Hamas military compounds in the Gaza Strip, manufacturing facilities, training camps, and an advanced-weapons site.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his security cabinet late into the night on Thursday. Israel will keep acting with force.

A picture taken on August 8, 2018 shows a fireball exploding during Israeli air strikes in Gaza City.

At the United Nations, Israel's ambassador, Danny Danon, urged the secretary-general and U.N. Security Council to condemn Hamas militants for what he called "the unprovoked terrorist attack" on southern Israel. The military said more than 180 rockets and mortar bombs were fired from Gaza.

In a statement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for the worldwide community to step in, blaming Israel for "the escalation on our people in the Gaza Strip".

Israel captured Gaza in the 1967 Middle East war but withdrew in 2005, while holding onto most of the separate West Bank, where Palestinians have limited self-rule.

Hamas said Thursday night that a ceasefire has been reached to end the almost two days of intense fighting with Israel, even as the high-level security cabinet on Thursday instructed the IDF to "continue acting forcefully" against the terror groups in Gaza.

Yuval Steinitz, a member of Netanyahu's security cabinet, told Israel Radio earlier that Israel was "not eager for war" but would make no concessions to Hamas.

"These incidents underscore the urgent need to work toward finding a lasting political solution for Gaza and to respond effectively to the humanitarian crisis affecting the Palestinian population", France said.

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