Israel strikes Gaza after rockets fired from enclave

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Sirens were sounded in several areas close to the border with Gaza, warning residents to seek immediate shelter, the Israeli army said.

The IDF posted some raw footage of the rocket attacks, from which at least 17 people were treated for bodily and shock injuries, Jerusalem Post reports.

"As of now, approximately 70 rocket launches were identified from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory", the army said in a statement.

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An Israeli policeman surveys the scene where a rocket exploded in the southern city of Sderot, Israel August 8, 2018.

Over the past four months, 158 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including at least 120 in the protests near the fence and others in Israeli air strikes and other incidents elsewhere in Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry and a local rights group. Israeli officials said they had been able to shoot down two of the rockets using the Iron Dome missile system.

On Tuesday, Israeli airstrikes killed two Hamas members in Gaza.

Israel's military later confirmed it struck Gaza, saying it hit 12 Hamas sites in all, including "an offensive maritime terror tunnel. several terror sites in military compounds throughout the Gaza Strip. rocket manufacturing facilities and a central logistical military complex".

At least two homes in Sderot were damaged by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip Wednesday.

He called on all sides to step "back from the brink".

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.

Hamas warned Israel - with which it has fought three wars since 2008 - it would pay for the attack.

The escalation comes after the Hamas leadership convened for a rare meeting in Gaza on Friday.

Reports in recent weeks have indicated that a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas may be in the works that would include easing the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

Deputy Hamas chief in Gaza, Khalil Al-Hayya, told Al Jazeera television: "We can say that actions led by the United Nations and Egypt are in advanced stages and we hope it could yield some good from them".

One Israeli soldier has been shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.

Israel has been battling large fires caused by kites and balloons rigged with incendiary devices or burning rags launched from Gaza that have destroyed forests, burned crops and killed wildlife and livestock.

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