Israel retaliates after more than 150 rockets fired from Gaza

The Islamic Momvement Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since seizing it from the internationally recognised Palestinian government

Israel struck back targeting more than 70 Hamas and Islamic Jihad sites by air and tank, the Israel Defense Forces said.

A Palestinian resistance missile hit a Zionist house in Kiryat Gat, causing serious injuries, according to Israeli media.

Palestinians in Gaza have been regularly sending balloons carrying firebombs over the border fence to damage Israeli property and have in the past succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.

Israeli medical officials said an 80-year-old woman was severely wounded by the rocket fire, a 50-year-old man was moderately wounded by shrapnel and a teenage boy was mildly hurt as he ran for cover.

But Israel scaled back the fishing zone this week in response to rocket fire and shut the border crossings entirely on Saturday after barrages from the enclave.

The Jerusalem Post quoted a spokesperson for the municipality of Ashkelon, near the embattled Palestinian enclave, as confirming that several rockets were intercepted by Israeli missile defences.

Mladenov also said the flare-up "jeopardizes the significant progress made in recent weeks to relieve the suffering of people in Gaza, lift the closures, and support intra-Palestinian reconciliation".

It had earlier announced the death of her 14-month-old daughter in the same incident as Israel carried out strikes in response to some 250 rockets fired from Gaza.

The rocket fire activated warning sirens in multiple Israeli communities.

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Israeli police said a house in the coastal city of Ashkelon was damaged.

It also comes at a sensitive time for Israel, which is to mark its Memorial Day and Independence Day holiday this week, before hosting the Eurovision song contest in the middle of the month.

Over the past 36 hours, occupation forces have killed three Palestinians and wounded dozens more, the majority of whom were taking part in the peaceful protests along the Gaza-Israel fence.

At least three Palestinians, including the mother and infant, were killed in the air raids, the health ministry in Gaza said, while 13 others were wounded.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a crippling blockade on Gaza since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007.

A source in Gaza said that Egyptian efforts to end the violence, which also reportedly include United Nations special envoy Nickolay Mladenov, were making progress. Unemployment stands at 52 percent, according to the World Bank.

The aerial assaults on by Israel followed the retaliatory firing of around 90 rockets from Gaza into the "occupied territories" on Saturday morning. Israel says this is needed to stop weapons reaching Gaza.

With the ceasefire at risk, a Hamas delegation led by its Gaza head Yahya Sinwar went to Cairo on Thursday for talks with Egyptian officials.

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