Israeli air strikes hit blockaded Gaza

Palestinian Hamas top leader Ismail Haniyeh waves to protesters during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel Oct. 12 2018

Israeli aircraft carried out extensive retaliatory strikes in Gaza, targeting approximately 90 sites belonging to the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas.

A spokesman for the group told the Gaza-based Safa news site that a ceasefire agreement went into effect following Egyptian communication with its leadership.

On Saturday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman convened a meeting of high ranking IDF officers and members of the security services, including IDF Chief of Staff Lt. -Gen. It says it is defending its border and accuses Hamas of exploiting young protesters and encouraging them to risk their lives in order to increase pressure to ease the blockade.

"The Islamic Jihad will abide by the ceasefire if the occupation (Israel) does the same".

Restrictions remained in place, however, limiting gatherings outdoors to 100 people and those indoors to 500.

The fighting followed a bloody day of border protests, in which Israeli forces shot and killed four Palestinians protesting along the perimeter fence dividing Hamas-ruled Gaza and Israel.

They are also protesting over Israel's crippling blockade of Gaza.

In response, Israeli fighter jets carried out intensive airstrikes on military facilities, training posts and buildings, which belonged to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, all over the Gaza Strip.

He, too, said that the rocket fire was directed from Damascus and the Iranian Quds Force.

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The group said in a statement that its decision to halt the rockets was in response to Egyptian efforts to restore calm in Gaza and prevent a further deterioration between Israel and Gaza. The IDF said its Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted more than a dozen of the launches.

The armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the second largest militant group in Gaza, threatened to continue the rocket fire on Saturday.

Condemning the Israeli airstrikes, al-Qidra called on global organizations to protect medical institutions and paramedics against Israeli air attacks in Gaza.

The rocket fire comes amid a deadly flare-up in violence in the Gaza Strip.

The protests along the border, which have frequently involved tens of thousands of demonstrators, began in March.

In the West Bank, a 33-year-old Palestinian man was killed and nine others wounded by live rounds, one in critical conditions, as the Israeli forces confronted stone throwers in a village near Ramallah city, doctors said.

A sixth died when a hand grenade he was holding exploded accidentally, witnesses said.

In Israel, warning sirens sounded through the night in communities near the Gaza border, sending residents to bomb shelters.

This picture taken on October 27, 2018 shows a fireball exploding during Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City.

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