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  • An Israeli Apache helicopter releases flares as it flies over the Gaza Strip March 25, 2019.

    An Israeli Apache helicopter releases flares as it flies over the Gaza Strip March 25, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 March 2019

A ceasefire has been reached between Israel and Gaza factions after Israel started an intense airstrike wounding seven people in the strip. 

The Israeli military said Monday it had begun carrying out strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, hours after a Palestinian rocket hit a house near Tel Aviv that injured seven people.

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A ceasefire has been reached between Gaza and Israel after Egypt negotiated the same.

Reports said that Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh had been hit. Haniyeh warned Israel against the strike. The joint war room of the Gaza factions said that they had begun launching rockets towards Sderot and Netiv Ha'asara in response to "Israeli aggression in the Strip."

They also warned that the coastal city of Ashdod will also be targeted if the Israelis continue with the strike.  

Gaza health minister reported that seven people were wounded and three were evacuated to a hospital after an Israeli strike in the northern part of the besieged strip. Local councils and cities near the Gaza border opened bomb shelters for people to take shelter.

All the hospitals in the Gaza strip are asked to be on alert and schools have been closed for Tuesday.

Israeli warplanes fired at least two missiles targeting a location in Gaza city and another in the town of Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip.

They fired another two missiles targeting an agricultural land to the east of Khan Younis and Rafah cities, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The rocket on Tel Aviv has prompted the prime minister to close the important Gaza Strip crossings at Erez and Kerem Shalom and to call on military reservists for the first time in years after the “heinous attack on the State of Israel,” declared the Israeli leader.

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The military said in a statement that it had "begun striking Hamas terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip."

But they are striking indiscriminately. Not only the Hamas is targeted, but the whole besieged strip is also being attacked.

Israeli acting Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said that the current strike is the most extensive action taken in Gaza since 2014’s  Operation Protective Edge.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, told Al Arabiya TV that the rocket was launched on accident, activated by heavy rains and lightning over the Palestinian enclave throughout the night, reports EFE. However, Reuters says that no group claimed the bombing.

The attack started while the Israeli Prime Minister is in the United States and meeting with the U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump signed a decree Monday at the start of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the U.S.  recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory that Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

Tensions between Gaza and Israel have been running higher than usual since March 14 when two rockets were launched into Tel Aviv causing no damage or injury. March also marks the anniversary of an intensified Great March of the Return over the past year that has seen nearly 200 Palestinians killed at the Gaza border by Israeli troops.

Netanyahu, who was supposed to speak at AIPAC’s annual conference Tuesday, cut short his visit to be back in Israel.

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