Hamas says truce reached after major Israeli air strikes

Israeli air strikes hit Gaza after bloody border protests

Only hours after Bennett's comment and Hamas's announcement of a ceasefire, red alert sirens sounded across the Gaza border region as mortar shells and rockets were fired towards Israel again.

"The Israeli army delivered its most painful strike against Hamas since the 2014 war and we will increase the strength of our attacks as much as necessary", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

In the 24 hour period between Saturday and the early overnight hours of Sunday, Hamas fired almost 200 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel.

The IDF said aircraft had attacked "an offensive terror tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip, in addition to several terror sites in military compounds throughout the Gaza Strip, among them complexes used to prepare arson terror attacks and a Hamas terror organization training facility". It said 70 others were wounded, at least 20 by live fire, and others by tear gas.

Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said the military had warned people before the attack to leave the area.

Striking in the heart of Gaza City is typically only seen during full-blown conflicts like the war of 2014 and could mark a sign that violence is escalating.

It said it fired toward a Palestinian who was attempting to infiltrate Israeli territory, but the incident appeared to be unrelated to the death of the teenager.

It said its jets targeted a Hamas tunnel in the southern portion of the Gaza Strip early on Saturday morning, alongside Hamas military compounds.

According to the IDF, six projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system.

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

In a relatively rare admission, Hamas said it fired the rockets to deter Israel from further action.

The attacks come amid an escalation of violence in the region in recent months.

Hours later, Israel launched air strikes in Gaza.

Later, the Israeli military claimed an officer was wounded by a grenade.

He was referring to a border protest Friday in which two Palestinians were killed.

The Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza has led border protests aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

Israel says Hamas has been orchestrating the weekly protests to distract from governance problems and provide cover for militants' cross-border attacks. There have been no Israeli fatalities during the so-called "Great March of Return" demonstrations.

In a statement, the military said Hamas' activities "violate Israeli sovereignty, endanger Israeli civilians and sabotage Israel's humanitarian efforts that aim to help Gazan civilians".

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