Israel bombs Gaza, Palestinians fire rockets in escalation amid truce talks

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Military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said he had no information on the woman and child being killed, but noted a pregnant Israeli woman was taken to hospital Wednesday night after a rocket landed nearby.

The latest data from the Israel Defense Forces suggests the Palestinians launched more than 180 missiles and projectiles and the Israeli Iron Dome air defense system intercepted 30 of them.

At the time of the death of the Israeli soldier and airstrikes, the IDF said in a statement that "Hamas chose to escalate the security situation - and will bear the consequences for its actions".

"Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist terror organization, with funding from Iran, dedicated to the destruction of Israel", he wrote.

Israel accuses Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas of using the protests as an excuse to carry out attacks and has responded with both lethal and non-lethal force, saying it is necessary to defend its borders and stop infiltration.

Air raid sirens warning of incoming rocket fire wailed in southern Israel overnight and throughout the day, sending families scrambling into bomb shelters, cancelling outdoor summer cultural events and forcing summer camps indoors.

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The strike hit a building that Palestinians say housed a cultural centre and other offices in the middle of the city, an AFP correspondent said.

Rocket alert sirens sounded in Beersheba, a city of 200,000 inhabitants some 40 km from the Gaza Strip, for the first time since the last war in 2014.

Protests and clashes along the Gaza border began on March 30 and peaked with the May 14 move of the US Embassy for Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem. Local health officials said 18 bystanders were wounded outside of the building by the blast.

Rocket warning sirens sounded nearly non-stop in the southern Israeli towns and border communities near Gaza from sunset on Wednesday.

According to Israeli press reports, a total of nine Israelis have recently been injured by rockets fired from Gaza.

Smoke plumes rise following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City, Aug. 8, 2018.

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From orderly rows of solar panels in a field in the West Bank to the chaotic rooftops of Gaza, Palestinians are hoping that harnessing the energy of the sun can reduce their dependence on Israel for electricity.

Israelis stand and inspect surrounding damages outside the cordoned area where a rocket fired by militants from the Gaza Strip fell and created a small crater in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on 9 August 2018.

Nearly 200 rockets and mortar shells were fired from within Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian movements at towns and villages in Israel, provoking a similar number of attacks by the Israeli Air Force.

Neither Greenblatt, the foreign ministry, nor the army made any mention of the killing of Inas Khimash and her daughter Bayan.

On Twitter, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri echoed similar sentiments, and called on the worldwide community to "shoulder its responsibilities towards Israel's aggression and siege". Large turnout at the protests has also been driven by widespread desperation in Gaza, amid worsening conditions linked to the blockade. This comes less than 24 hours after Israeli airstrikes killed three Palestinians on Wednesday night.

Mladenov says that for months, he has warned the "humanitarian, security and political crisis in Gaza risks a devastating conflict that nobody wants". One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.

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