Gaza tensions flare after militants fire barrage of rockets

Looks Downfield….Intercepted

Israeli aircraft have struck dozens of militant sites across the Gaza Strip as militants fired some 30 rockets into Israel in the heaviest exchange of fire between the bitter enemies in several weeks.

"Iron Dome has so far intercepted 10, saving many lives", he said.

The Israeli army said some suspects briefly crossed the fence.

The Israeli military aircraft have pounded the Gaza Strip on Friday, hitting 80 alleged Hamas targets in response to what they say were 30 rockets launched from Gaza. Israel's military chief, General Gadi Eisenkot, convened an emergency meeting of top security officials, the army added, without elaborating.

An Indonesian hospital in the northern Gaza Strip has reportedly been damaged by the retaliatory strikes. The bullet pierced organs in his lower abdomen, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The latest Israeli violence come after five Palestinians were killed and 170 others wounded by Israeli troops during demonstrations on Friday along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Gaza's health ministry.

The army did not comment on the deaths but said around 16,000 "rioters and demonstrators" had gathered along the border, with some setting tyres alight and hurling rocks, firebombs and grenades towards soldiers.

The first victim of this round of Friday protests was 27-year-old Muhammad Khaled 'Abd al-Nabi.

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Organizers of the weekly protests at the Gaza-Israel border called on Gaza residents to demonstrate en masse on Friday under the slogan "Gaza will not surrender".

At least 212 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since the protests began, according to figures collated by AFP.

The majority have died during protests, while smaller numbers have been killed by airstrikes and tank fire.

One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper over the same period.

The protesters have been demanding an end to Israel's blockade and the right of return to land now inside Israel, from which their families were expelled or fled during the 1948 war that accompanied its creation.

Israel accuses Hamas of using the large protests as cover to stage border infiltrations and attacks. But Israel holds Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, responsible for all fire emanating from the territory.

The fresh violence could also scupper hopes of a deal to end the months of protests.

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