Israel strikes 80 sites across Gaza

Looks Downfield….Intercepted

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

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

He added, "The Islamic Jihad will abide by the ceasefire if the occupation (Israel) does the same".

"At least 14 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians", military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said on Twitter.

At the same time, the IDF spokesperson Ronen Manelis claimed that Damascus and the Iranian Quds Force directed the Hamas rockets that recently targeted Israel. Other targets included the entrance to a tunnel dug to infiltrate and attack Israel, and an anti-aircraft observation post, it said.

On Friday, four Palestinians aged between 22 and 27 were shot dead by Israeli fire in separate incidents along the border fence, the Gaza health ministry said.

The flare in violence, which caused no serious casualties, followed another deadly confrontation Friday during Palestinian protests along the Gaza-Israel border.

Egyptian security officials have in the last two weeks been talking to Israeli leaders and officials of Hamas, which runs Gaza, and other factions in an attempt to restore calm along the border.

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In response, Israel hit over 80 targets in Gaza.

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

There was no immediate confirmation from Israel. It says it is defending its border and accuses Hamas of exploiting young protesters and encouraging them to risk their lives in order to increase pressure to ease the blockade.

While Greenblatt is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it remains unlikely that there will be a sit-down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has maintained an administration-wide boycott of the Trump team since the president recognized that Israel's capital is Jerusalem and subsequently moved the US' embassy there. The Hamas-led weekly protests along the Israeli border have been aimed in large part at breaking the blockade, which has devastated the Gaza economy. Widespread desperation among Gaza's 2 million residents - who get only a few hours of electricity a day and undrinkable tap water, in addition to suffering from soaring joblessness and limited freedom of travel - fuels their participation in the Hamas-orchestrated protests.

Hamas officials denied a deal had been struck but confirmed to AFP that progress was being made.

A Palestinian holds a Palestinian flag as he uses a slingshot to hurl rocks at Israeli troops during clashes near the border with Israel, east of Gaza City, on October 26, 2018.

Health officials in Gaza said nine Palestinians were wounded in one of the Israeli strikes and a hospital was badly damaged.

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