Palestinian teenager killed in Israel-Gaza border protests

A balloon loaded with incendiary material is flown towards Israel by Palestinians east of Gaza City

A balloon loaded with incendiary material is flown towards Israel by Palestinians east of Gaza City

Israel continued to pound Gaza's ruling Hamas terror organization throughout the night and into the wee hours of Sunday in response to ongoing rocket, mortar and missile fire aimed at southern Israel from the enclave.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said in a separate statement that a truce had been reached.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas had been hit with "the hardest blow" since a 2014 war "and we will increase the strength of our attacks as necessary".

In the 24 hour period between Saturday and the early overnight hours of Sunday, Hamas fired almost 200 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel.

According to Israel Radio, residents reported hearing sounds of explosions and possible interceptions by Israel's Iron Dome system.

Three Israelis were wounded when a rocket hit a house in the city of Sderot near the Gaza Strip, authorities said.

IAF jets hit a high-rise building in the Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip early Saturday evening.

The surge in violence followed mounting public criticism of Netanyahu over failure to counter a new Palestinian tactic: incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza that have burned crops and scrubland in southern Israel.

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Two Palestinian teenagers were killed and 25 others were reportedly injured in the airstrikes in what Israeli officials call the most significant operations since 2014. Photos posted to social media showed large plumes of black smoke rising from western Gaza.

Later, the Israeli military claimed an officer was wounded by a grenade.

"In the wake of events overnight we have attacked 40 terrorist targets, including the destruction of the headquarters of the Beit Lahia Battalion", said Chief IDF Spokesman Brig.Gen Ronen Manelis.

Hours later, Israel launched air strikes in Gaza.

Witnesses say Israeli warplanes dropped four bombs on an empty building near a Hamas police and security compound, reducing the old structure to rubble. Organizers say the demonstrations aim to press demands for a right to lands lost to Israel in the 1948 war of its foundation, and for the blockade to ease.

Two Palestinian teenagers have been killed and 10 others injured, according to health officials, as the Israeli military carried out its biggest daytime airstrike campaign in Gaza since the 2014 war.

The fighting began on Friday, when thousands of Palestinians gathered at the Israel-Gaza border area for weekly protests that have now entered their fourth month.

The "March of Return" protests have also seen Palestinians fly airborne incendiary devices toward Israeli territory, sparking hundreds of fires in southern Israel and causing millions of shekels in estimated damages.

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