Terrorists Launch Rockets at Israel from Gaza, Prompting Air Strikes

A Palestinian covers his face with a plastic bag to protect himself from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during a protest at the Israel Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip

Sirens wailed throughout southern Israeli Saturday morning, with Israel's military reporting more than 100 rockets were fired into its territory by militants from the Gaza Strip, threatening to upend wider efforts to forge a long-term truce arrangement between Israel and Hamas, the militant Islamic group that rules the Palestinian enclave.

Chinese workers look on as an Iron Dome anti-missile projectile intercepts a rocket that was sacked from Gaza, above the Israeli city of Ashkelon, Israel May 4, 2019.

Three Israelis were wounded by the rockets.

One woman was seriously injured in a rocket strike on the Israeli city of Kiryat Gat, some 20 kilometres (13 miles) from the Gaza border, police said.

The Israeli military said the airstrike was a retaliation to gunfire from Gaza that had wounded two of its soldiers near the border on Friday. The military said it had targeted two rocket launchers in Gaza with an air strike in response. It said dozens of rockets were intercepted by its Iron Dome rocket-defense system, and that roads near the Gaza border were closed to civilian traffic.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun both took to Twitter to condemn the attack.

The air strike is believed to have killed also another person, a gunman member of the small armed pro-Hamas group in Gaza, The Protectors of Al-Aqsa, according to the group itself.

The other deaths were those of a woman and her 14-month-old daughter who were killed in an air strike in the east of the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian officials.

The tunnel, which was more than 60 feet deep, could be accessed from several entry points in the Gaza Strip, and was meant to facilitate a terror attack inside Israeli territory.

It said that they were in response to the launching of incendiary and explosive balloons from Gaza into Israel.

What triggered the latest unrest?

Israel says the tight blockade is needed to stop weapons reaching Gaza. Two Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian fire.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders are in Cairo to bolster a fraying deal that was hoped to achieve a long-term cease-fire in Gaza.

The Hamas-run Al Quds Voice reported that a joint operation room for Hamas forces ordered all military units to be on standby on Friday evening after the Israeli airstrike killed the fighters.

Saturday's rocket attacks coincided with Palestinians burying the two militants.

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