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International

Israel launches strikes on Gaza after Palestinian mortar barrage

10:10, Wednesday, 30 May, 2018
Israel launches strikes on Gaza after Palestinian mortar barrage

Israeli fighter jets carried out 35 air strikes against Gaza on Tuesday after Palestinian militants launched the biggest barrage of rockets against the Jewish state since the Israeli-Hamas war four years ago.

The Israeli military said that half of the estimated 50 mortars fired by militants were intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defence system.

Three Israeli soldiers were wounded, and at least one civilian man suffered minor injuries. A kindergarten was damaged when a rocket landed nearby.

Israel responded by launching the air strikes against Palestinian militant positions in Gaza and destroying a tunnel running beneath its border with Egypt.

Sirens were activated throughout the day in southern Israel, and residents near the Gaza border were instructed to remain near bomb shelters. It was not immediately clear if there were Palestinian casualties.

The violence came as tensions escalated along the border with the impoverished strip, with Israeli troops killing 110 Palestinian protesters since March as Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, organised weekly demonstrations near the security fence that separates Gazans from Israel.

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