Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

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

Hamas says its rockets were meant to deter Israel from further action. Most recently, it has been struggling to cope with the widespread fires caused by the incendiary kites and balloons floating over the border.

The air force also attacked a Palestinian terrorist cell launching mortars.

But Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said the Israeli attacks should not be seen as the start of a military campaign against the Palestinian territory of 2 million, devastated by seven weeks of war with Israel four years ago. A police spokesman said no hits had been identified in the city.

According to IDF spokesman Brig.

On Friday, Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians, including a teenager, and wounded hundreds of others in border clashes.

Rocket sirens were heard across southern Israel Saturday morning, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed.

There were no immediate reports of Palestinian injuries.

Three Israelis were reportedly injured when one of the rockets landed on a residential home.

Hamas on Saturday said the barrage of rockets and mortar shells into Israeli territory overnight was sacked by the "resistance" to "stop Israeli escalation".

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Since the protests and clashes broke out along the border on March 30, at least 141 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. The Security Cabinet was to convene for an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon to deal with the escalating violence in Gaza.

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Blasts from Israel's air strikes shook homes and shattered windows in Gaza, where plumes of smoke rose from the sites of the explosions.

Sources close to Hamas were quoted over the weekend as saying that the Egyptians made it clear to Arouri and his colleagues that Cairo was keen on preventing another war between Israel and the Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.

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 army said protesters attacked soldiers with grenades, bombs, Molotov cocktails, and rocks. A 15-year-old Palestinian was shot dead as he tried to climb over the fence into Israel.

An Israeli soldier was also moderately wounded when a grenade was thrown at him from the northern Gaza Strip, the military said. According to the sources, the Egyptians warned the Hamas officials that a military confrontation would have a serious and negative impact on worldwide efforts to improve the living conditions of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The violence was held under the banner of "Identifying with Khan al-Ahmar", a West Bank Bedouin village whose planned demolition by Israel is being debated at the High Court.

The majority were involved in protests and clashes but others were seeking to breach or damage the border fence.

In the other direction "more than 60 rockets" were fired at southern Israel from Gaza, the Israeli military said, of which "approximately 10 rockets were intercepted".

On July 9, Israel closed its only goods crossing with the Gaza Strip in response to the fires. "We are prepared for a prolonged confrontation if the aggression [on the Gaza Strip] continues".

The IDF has sought to avoid an escalation of hostilities on the southern front despite the attacks, but according to the Haaretz daily, the political pressure to act has been building as the economic and psychological harm caused by the fires takes its toll.

Palestinian health officials said earlier that two teenagers had been killed by one air strike in what was one of the worst flare-ups since the 2014 Israel-Gaza war.

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