Hamas leader signals interest in Gaza truce


The heavy exchange of fire, which was triggered by a botched Israeli undercover raid into Hamas-ruled Gaza late Sunday, marked the most serious escalation since an Israel-Hamas war in 2014.

Hamas, Gaza's dominant Islamist movement, and other armed factions fired over 400 rockets or mortar bombs across the fenced border after carrying out a surprise guided-missile attack on Monday on a bus that wounded an Israeli soldier, the military said.

Violence has flared regularly along the Israel-Gaza border since Palestinians began protests on March 30 to demand rights to land lost to Israel in the 1948 war of its creation. Six other militants were killed as well as one of the Israeli special forces soldiers.

Netanyahu has come under criticism from members of his right-wing government for his decision to allow Qatar to provide money to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip to pay for salaries and provide other support to ease a humanitarian crisis in the coastal enclave.

"But they've also subjected their own Israeli population to the retaliatory operations of the Palestinian resistance factions", Abunimah told Al Jazeera.

The United Nations and Egypt, which works as an interlocutor between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers, were struggling in vain to broker a ceasefire, as Israeli civilians hid overnight in shelters from relentless rocket barrages and Palestinians cowered in basements from thundering airstrikes.

Israel responded with more than 100 airstrikes on Gaza, including one that leveled the studios of the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV.

After the November 11 clash, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a visit to Paris and flew home.

A Palestinian labourer from the occupied West Bank was killed when a rocket hit a building in the Israeli city of Ashkelon.

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Dean says around 10 other people were shot and wounded. "I just started hearing these big pops - pop, pop, pop". Video shown on local media station showed people with bullet wounds being carried away from the scene.

One man was pulled dead from the ruins of a building in southern Israel, emergency services organisation United Hatzalah said, adding that a woman recovered from the same building in the city of Ashkelon was in a critical state.

The IDF reported that it has responded by attacking more than 70 Hamas targets in Gaza.

Lt. -Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesperson, said Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group have more than 20,000 rockets and mortars, some capable of reaching Israel's main cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

It affirmed that the operation came in response to Israel's raid east of Khan Younis on Sunday evening, during which seven Palestinians were killed.

Barhoum called on worldwide, legal and media organisations to denounce this latest act of Israeli aggression against journalism and freedom of expression.

Egypt, which borders Gaza to the south, urged Israel to back down.

Relatives of a Palestinian, who was killed in an Israeli air strike, react at a hospital in the northern Gaza Strip on October 17, 2018. Just last week, Israel let a Qatari plane land with cash for Gaza, meant to ease the area's distress.

The incursion resulted in a firefight in which six Palestinians and a Hamas commander were killed.

Israel has fought three wars in Gaza in the last decade, and fears are growing that a new conflict is on the way. Hamas accused Israel of violating global law by raiding the TV station.