IDF Officer: War With Gaza is Close

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in meeting discussing the situation in Gaza with Defense Minister

On Wednesday, an IDF tank again struck Hamas posts in Gaza after gunmen opened fire at a civilian vehicle involved in the construction of a barrier along the border.

Three Palestinians were killed and many others severely injured on predawn Thursday due to the continuous Israeli airstrikes carried out over the besieged Gaza Strip.

It further claimed that the Israeli missile system Iron Dome had intercepted 25 rockets out of the 150 rockets, which activated sirens in the occupied territories over 125 times.

Israeli Ynet News said that one Israeli man, aged 23, was injured by shrapnel in his leg, and added that "two pregnant women in addition to a man, 42 years of age, were treated for shock", before being moved to Barzilai Hospital. Israeli media reported that army officials had later acknowledged a mistake had been made and the militants had not been firing at soldiers, though the military would not confirm that information to AFP. By early Thursday morning, IDF said it struck more than 100 targets.

The Gaza Health Ministry said a pregnant woman, her 18-month-old child and a Hamas militant were killed. At least five other civilians were also wounded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a trip to Colombia to meet with security officials for cease-fire negotiations.

Israel and militants in Gaza have exchanged frequent fire in recent months.

An explosion is seen during an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Aug. 8, 2018.

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Neither Hamas nor Israel appears keen on another full-blown conflict.

Gaza residents reported several Israeli airstrikes after the Palestinian rocket barrage.

Israel has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in Gaza since 2008 and says the blockade is necessary to keep them from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used for military purposes.

One Israeli soldier has been shot dead by a Palestinian sniper during the same period, while incendiary devices attached to balloons and kites launched by Palestinians have sparked hundreds of fires in southern Israel, burning some 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of forest and farmland.

Tension along the Israel-Gaza border has escalated since late March, when Hamas launched what would become regular mass protests along Israel's perimeter fence with Gaza. According to reports, it would be the relative of a senior Hamas commander. "If current escalation however is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

Israel and Hamas have reached a ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt Thursday night that went into effect at 10:45pm, Al Jazeera reported. He said, "Hamas is moving away from an arrangement to calm things down and is moving near to a war in which it would be hit hard". The military said it was "determined to secure the safety of the citizens of Israel and is on high alert and prepared for a wide variety of scenarios".

Hamas warned Israel it would pay for Tuesday's attack.

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