Netanyahu Vows 'Forceful' Response After Gaza Terror Rocket Strikes Israeli Home

Rocket fired into Israel from Gaza: Israeli army

Photo from Great Return March protests wins prestigious French prize

Some Palestinians in the Gaza Strip said they did not rule out the possibility that the rocket attacks were carried out by terrorists belonging to a small group that is opposed to Egypt's effort to reach a truce agreement between Hamas and Israel.

The Israeli army registered a rocket launch from the Gaza Strip that resulted in a siren in the city of Beersheba going off.

The army reported another rocket was sacked towards the sea.

One Palestinian the army said was preparing a rocket launch was killed in northern Gaza. "If Hamas is intelligent, it will cease fire and violence now", he added.

But Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus rejected the disavowal, saying Hamas bore "full responsibility" as Gaza's de facto ruler.

After a Hamas' cell detonated a large explosive device that blew a hole in the security fence, some 20 terrorists attempted to infiltrate Israel under cover of a dense black cloud created by burning tires.

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"At 4am, Israelis in the city of Beersheba were running to bomb shelters after a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel", the Israeli army tweeted, before the air strikes on the besieged Palestinian enclave. The wounded were taken to nearby hospitals, Gaza's Health Ministry said, and dozens suffering from teargas inhalation were treated at the scene.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the closure of both of Israel's border crossings with Gaza on Wednesday following the violence. The permitted fishing zone along the Gaza coast was also reduced to three nautical miles.

"Israel views with utmost gravity the attacks against it on the fence, on the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, on Beersheba - everywhere", he said, referencing months of often violent protests in Gaza.

Hamas has held weekly border protests for the past six months, aimed in part at easing a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade that was put in place after the Islamic militant group violently seized power in 2007.

Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, called the developments "a unsafe escalation".

There are no reports about any victims or damages caused by the rocket fire.

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In his reply, Mladenov said the last 24 hours had been "particularly complicated" and called the rocket attack that destroyed a woman's home in Be'er Sheva a "dangerous escalation of the situation". "So long as the missiles and the provocation continue on, there is no chance of easing the suffering of the people of Gaza".

Smoke billows following an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah on October 17, 2018.

Gaza's two million residents endure routine power cuts and a chronic shortage of safe drinking water, and more than two-thirds are dependent on global aid.

The next week will be crucial to preventing an outbreak of conflict in the territory, with another Friday protest planned in Gaza, the United Nations and Egypt in intense negotiations to ease tensions and Israeli ministers ratcheting up their war talk.

The protesters were demanding to be allowed to return to land now inside Israel, from which their families fled or were displaced during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of the Jewish state. More than 204 Palestinians have been killed and over 22,000 others injured by Israeli forces since the Great March of Return began on March 30. One Israeli soldier was killed by sniper fire in July. Late Wednesday, the Egyptian delegation abruptly left Gaza and entered Israel.

The military wing of the Mujahideen Movement in Palestine (MMP) says one of their fighters, 25-year-old Naji Al Zaanin, was killed in an Israeli strike in the north of Gaza.

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