Syria ordered Gaza rocket fire at Israel with Iran backing: Israeli army

The Defense Ministry's liaison to the Palestinians said a mortar launched during the barrages struck the ambulance terminal at the Erez border crossing, the sole pedestrian passage between Gaza and Israel.

Shehab said "After contacts between the Islamic Jihad leadership and the brothers in Egypt it was agreed that a comprehensive ceasefire will begin immediately".

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said that 34 rockets had been fired at Israel throughout the night. It accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran's Al- Quds Force of being behind the bombardments.

Conricus added that Israel's response would "not be limited geographically".

The Israeli military also shot and killed four Palestinians and wounded 232, 180 of them from live fire, during protests along the border with Gaza on Friday, Palestinian medical officials said.

Israeli aircraft struck several militant sites across the Gaza Strip early Saturday shortly after militants fired rockets into southern Israel, the Israeli military said.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008, and Egypt and the United Nations have been leading diplomatic efforts to avert a fourth.

Eight different alarm sirens were activated throughout the night in Israel's southern communities, including the city of Sderot near the Gaza border.

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Weekly large-scale riots by Gazans, and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers have become a mainstay along the Strip's security fence since March 30, as part of a Hamas-led effort known as the "March of Return".

He also criticized Hamas for escalating the border protests after Israel had tried to defuse tensions by allowing special fuel shipments into Gaza to improve the supply of electricity.

Palestinian security sources in Gaza said that an Israeli warplane destroyed a 4-floor building in Gaza City and leveled it to the ground, adding that the building was empty at the time and no injuries were reported. Israel said its forces were attacked with grenades and explosive devices hurled by some of the protesters, some of whom breached the border.

The demonstrations, named the Great March of Return, call for the return of refugees to their homes and lands from which they were displaced in 1948.

At least 212 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since the protests began, according to figures.

Israel rarely acknowledges it has reached agreements with terror groups in Gaza. Opening a new front in Syria could put Israel in open confrontation with heavily armed Iranian and Hezbollah forces, along with recently deployed Russian anti-aircraft systems.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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