Hamas fires rockets, Israel bombs Gaza despite talk of truce

Swedish activists sent home after being arrested by Israel

Swedish activists sent home after being arrested by Israel

More than 100 rockets have been fired into Israel since yesterday from the Gaza strip.

Following the strike, Hamas' Izzedine Al-Qassam Brigades announced that two of its members were killed in the strike, naming them as Ahmad Margan and Abdel Hafex Al-Silawi, both 23-years-old and from the Jabalia refugee camp.

Earlier this week two of its militants were killed after Israel shelled a Hamas border post in northern Gaza.

Israeli tank fire killed two Hamas gunmen in Gaza on Tuesday in a strike the Israeli military described as return fire for a shooting attack against its forces, an account disputed by the Palestinian Islamist group.

Smoke plumes could be seen rising from Gaza City Wednesday evening.

It said the Palestinian resistance had fired a large number of rockets at "enemy positions in the Gaza envelope".

Israeli forces said in a statement about 150 rockets were fired from Gaza and at least 25 had been intercepted.

At least two Palestinians were wounded in raids aimed targeting a Hamas base in the southern Gaza Strip, the enclave's health ministry said.

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Throughout the night, wave after wave of alarms sounded in the Hof Ashkelon, Sha'ar Hanegev and Eshkol regions, outside Gaza, sending thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters, where many bedded down for the night with their families.

The Israeli army said Wednesday's violence began with militants firing guns at an Israeli engineering vehicle, and Israeli troops responding with tank fire.

Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations' humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, in a news release called Israel's restriction of fuel imports "a unsafe practice, with grave consequences on the rights of people in Gaza".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of the security cabinet due to the growing tensions in the Gaza Strip which was attended by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and senior commanders.

Hamas warned Israel - with which it has fought three wars since 2008 - it would pay for the attack.

Deputy Hamas chief in Gaza, Khalil Al-Hayya, told Al Jazeera television: "We can say that actions led by the United Nations and Egypt are in advanced stages and we hope it could yield some good from them". One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.

The Swedish vessel, named "Freedom for Gaza", was intercepted on August 4th and taken to Israel's port Ashdod its organizers said - the second such boat of the "Freedom Flotilla" prevented from reaching Gaza.

Clashes along the Gaza border since the end of March have seen at least 160 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire.

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