Two killed in fresh Gaza protests but Israel-Hamas truce holds

The Latest: Israel says it struck Hamas position in Gaza

A picture taken on August 8, 2018 shows an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City.

While a ceasefire to end the escalation of violence was said to have been agreed upon by the two sides following Egyptian and United Nations mediation, Hamas vowed that the Return March demonstrations would continue.

The Israeli military said rioters hurled stones, explosives and fire bombs at troops and the border fence.

Qatati is at least the second medic to have been killed by Israeli fire during months of border protests.

This evening a few thousand Palestinians gathered along the border for weekly protests.

"In response to the violent riots, IDF (army) tanks struck two Hamas posts in the northern Gaza Strip", the military said on Twitter.

Three Palestinians were killed in the Israeli strikes, while seven Israelis were wounded by Palestinian rocket fire.

Hamas's Al Aqsa TV reported late Thursday that an Egypt-brokered deal had taken hold "on the basis of mutual calm". It was at least the third such truce in recent weeks.

Reserve General Doron Almog, former head of Israel's southern command which deals with Gaza, told army radio on Friday morning that the next 24 hours would be crucial.

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"In light of Hamas statements and the evacuation of Hamas outposts, the Southern Command chose to increase readiness and to close a number of roadways in the Gaza periphery", read the statement released by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

The news comes as the European Union called for an urgent "de-escalation" and warned the two sides are "dangerously close" to a full-blown conflict just four years on from their last war.

"He was the only one who demanded to launch a large-scale operation in the Gaza Strip".

"Yet their ability to avoid renewed war is becoming increasingly constrained with each cycle of violence", Lovatt added.

Gaza militants fired some 200 rockets at Israel and the Israeli military carried out a similar number of airstrikes in Gaza in the latest round of violence this week.

Protesters demand the "right of return" to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

Israel says its blockade is necessary to isolate Hamas, although critics say it amounts to collective punishment of Gaza's two million residents.

Most were killed by Israeli fire during the protests but others died in air strikes.

Qattati's killing followed that of another medic in June, Razan al-Najjar, when she was shot dead while treating Palestinians wounded by Israeli forces using live fire, rubber-coated bullets and tear gas.

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