Gaza rocket hits near southern Israeli city in show of defiance

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman meet with top seucirty officials at IDF military's headquarters in Tel Aviv early Thursday

The Latest: Israel strikes targets in Gaza Strip, 3 killed

The three flare-ups since July, which follow months of tensions due to protests and clashes along the Gaza border, have raised fears of a fourth war between the two sides since 2008.

Israeli warplanes struck dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip and three people were reported killed there, while Palestinian militants from the territory fired scores of rockets into Israel in a fierce burst of violence overnight and into Thursday morning.

"Egyptian efforts managed to restore calm between Palestinian factions and Israel that will end the current escalation", a Palestinian official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

The second paragraph continues with the obfuscation, reducing the long night of Palestinian attacks that sent Israeli civilians to bomb shelters throughout the night, and Israel's eventual response, as an "exchange".

An Israeli official told reporters Hamas has been seeking an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire throughout the day on Thursday, after an earlier truce that went into effect in the afternoon was breached after some two hours.

The Said Meshal Cultural Centre confirmed on its Facebook page the offices in Gaza City had been destroyed, saying the building also hosted offices for the Egyptian community in Gaza.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza identified the pregnant woman as 23-year-old Inas Khamash, and her 18-month-old daughter as Bayan Khamash. Hundreds of people took part in the funeral for the woman and child on Thursday.

Hamas official Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement that it was Israel who was responsible for the violence, and that "in the event of continued aggression, shelling and killing of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the resistance will not be silent".

Ambulance sirens echoed through the night in Gaza, where families huddled at home as powerful explosions thundered through the strip.

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

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Szabo's brother said he thought Szabo may have mistaken an SUV for a cab, according to the New York Daily News . The man exited a white SUV and punched Szabo, leaving him bleeding on the ground, police said.

After the BBC published a headline that read, "Israeli air strikes "kill woman and a toddler, '" the Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a formal complaint to the British outlet, and it ultimately changed the headline to, "Gaza air strikes 'kill woman and child" after rockets hit Israel".

Twenty-five miles from the border, air raid sirens sounded in Israel's main southern city, Beersheba. Israeli Army Radio said militants had fired a Grad missile capable of reaching Israel's heartland. Police said they found its remnants in an open area on the outskirts of the city of 200,000 people and that no one was hurt.

In Sderot, the Israeli city near the Gaza Strip, a gaping hole could be seen in front of a small, three-storey building.

Residents said the building had served mainly as a cultural center. Medical officials said at least seven bystanders were wounded. Hamas denied using the facility.

It was a show of force and defiance by Palestinian militants ahead of a meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet, where terms for a possible truce were likely to be on the agenda.

A plume of smoke rises from the remains of a building west of Gaza City that was targeted by the Israeli Air Force in response to a rocket attack that hit southern Israel earlier in the day on August 9, 2018.

The U.S. State Department condemned the launching of missile attacks into Israel.

In a statement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for the global community to step in, blaming Israel for "the escalation on our people in the Gaza Strip".

A source familiar with the negotiations said Egypt and the United Nations had negotiated a return to calm starting shortly before midnight Thursday, seemingly bringing an end to the upturn in violence.

As Israel continues to attack Gaza and strangle its economy with measures that have been denounced as "genocidal policies of collective punishment", the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) noted that "Palestinians in Gaza are on the brink of a full-blown humanitarian crisis due to Israel's 10-year siege".

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