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Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups have agreed to a cease-fire, a day after their biggest mortar and rocket barrages on southern Israel since the Gaza War four years ago.

An Israeli official said today that "the IDF gave a significant blow tonight", and warned Hamas of the price the organization will pay if the fire is renewed.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said the most extensive strikes from Gaza since the 2014 war also drew "the largest IDF retaliatory attack" since that conflict.

Three Israeli soldiers were injured in Tuesday's barrages, two lightly and a third moderately, the army said.

Israel has reportedly barred Indonesian passport holders from entering the country in possible retaliation for Jakarta's alleged decision to bar entry to Israelis in response to the ongoing violence in Gaza.

But after Tuesday's flare-up, followed by sirens and explosions into the night, there were Palestinian claims of a ceasefire.

ESSAM HAMAD: The people of Gaza are sending a clear message to the whole world that the siege that has been imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip must be lifted.

Senior Israeli officials however, denied that a ceasefire had been reached between Israel and Gaza factions, Channel 10 news reported.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab, acknowledging a ceasefire was in effect, said its success would depend on "whether Israel will refrain from any military escalation against Gaza".




Naftali Bennett, Israel's education minister, told Israel's Army Radio that no such agreement was reached.

Violence along the border escalated in recent weeks.

A picture taken from Gaza City on May 29, 2018, shows a smoke billowing in the background following an Israeli air strike on the Palestinian enclave. No children were present at the time.

"Such attacks are unacceptable and undermine the serious efforts by the global community to improve the situation in Gaza", he said.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss the violence, following an American request for an urgent meeting.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to meet Wednesday to discuss the violence, following a USA request for an urgent meeting.

Separately, council diplomats are negotiating a draft resolution, put forward by Kuwait, that calls for an "international protection mission" to be deployed for the Palestinians.

According to the military, among the targets struck by the air force were a terror tunnel that extended into Israel, Hamas drone facilities, naval bases, caches of shoulder-fired SA-7 missiles and a rocket manufacturing plant.

"Mortars fired by Palestinian militants hit civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten", US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement. The Israeli military said some of the mortar rounds were supplied by Iran.


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