Hamas fires rockets, Israel bombs Gaza despite talk of truce

Swedish activists sent home after being arrested by Israel

Swedish activists sent home after being arrested by Israel

Streaks of light are pictured as rockets are launched from the northern Gaza Strip toward Israel, as seen from Sderot, Aug. 8, 2018.

At least 9 Israelis were wounded when Gaza militants fired scores of rockets into Israel and the Israeli military responded with air strikes on Wednesday despite talk from both sides of progress towards a possible truce to avert a fourth war in a decade. At least five other civilians in Gaza were also injured.

In a separate statement, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) said its fighter jets targeted 12 terror sites in the Gaza Strip. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted 11 launches, the majority of the rockets hit open areas.

Her husband was reportedly injured.

Israel has lost tracts of farmland and forest to fires started by kites and helium balloons laden with incendiary material which have caused fires in Israeli forests and farmlands and flown over the border by Palestinians in Gaza.

In a written statement, the Ezzeddin Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Israeli media said the European Union had prepared a plan for transportation in the West Bank, including Area C, which constitutes about 60 percent of the occupied territory, which is under full Israeli civil and security control.

Earlier this week two of its militants were killed after Israel shelled a Hamas border post in northern Gaza.

Israel launched air strikes on Gaza late Wednesday, killing one Hamas militant, after dozens of rockets were fired from the enclave into its territory.

The Swedish government confirmed that all the Swedes had been sent home on Wednesday, while the Ship to Gaza activist group said shortly before midday that "most of [the activists] are already in transfer".

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

The exchange came amid continued attempts by Egypt to broker a broad cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas.

Three Israelis were reported wounded in a rocket attack on the southern city of Sderot.

Parts of the town have been closed off and police bomb disposal units were at the scene of the strikes, a spokesman for the force said.

At least 158 Palestinians have been killed in four months of weekly border protests and one Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Gaza sniper.

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