Hamas says deal reached with Israel to restore calm in Gaza

Hamas says deal reached with Israel to restore calm in Gaza

Hamas says deal reached with Israel to restore calm in Gaza

The ongoing kite and balloon attacks have burned thousands of dunams of forests and agricultural land adjacent to the Gaza border in recent months.

The new tank has a sensor system, which gives its commander a full view of the surroundings in his helmet, and can be equipped with a computer system based on artificial intelligence, the Israeli military said.

Almost 150 Palestinians have been killed since the demonstrations began on 30 March, a lot of them shot by Israeli snipers.

A Palestinian uses a slingshot as Israeli forces use tear gas to disperse Palestinians taking part in the "Great March of Return" demonstration.

Egyptian security officials and a diplomat from another unnamed state held contacts with Hamas and Israel in an effort to restore calm and prevent further deterioration, a Palestinian official told Reuters.

"There has been no calm in Gaza for many, many decades", she said.

Just hours after Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that Israel is gearing up to launch a "large and painful military operation" in Gaza that would rival Operation Protective Edge-a 2014 assault that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians-the Israeli military carried out "wide-scale" airstrikes across Gaza on Friday following weekly anti-occupation protests along the border fence.

"The targets included weapon manufacturing sites, a shaft to a tunnel network, a factory used for underground infrastructure manufacturing, a UAV warehouse, military operations room, training facilities, and observation posts", the IDF statement said.

Later Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the United Nations and Egypt had helped negotiate a ceasefire, with an agreement reached "to return to the previous state of calm between the (Israeli) occupation and the Palestinian factions".

Rocket and mortar fire had been aimed at southern Israel from Gaza starting from the early Friday evening, with a Code Red rocket alert siren splitting the night in the Gaza Belt region shortly after 8:30 pm.

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned on Friday evening of Israel's current escalation policy at the borders of the Gaza Strip, demanding the worldwide community to intervene.

Protesters are demanding the "right of return" to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were forced out in 1948 to make way for the formation of the state of Israel.

Israeli media reported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was receiving an emergency briefing from the army on the situation.

An Israeli army statement said that shots had been fired at troops during renewed protests along the Gaza-Israel frontier and "in response. aircraft and tanks targeted military targets throughout the Gaza Strip".

A ceasefire announced by Hamas largely has largely held after a wave of deadly strikes across the Palestinian enclave of Gaza sparked by the death of an Israeli soldier shot near the border.

The ceasefire is the second since in a week.

Last weekend saw the most severe exchange of fire in Gaza since a 2014 war.

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