TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Two Palestinians were killed on Saturday as Israel unleashed a wave of airstrikes against the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian teenagers, aged 15 and 16, were killed when an Israeli strike hit a building in the west of Gaza City, the enclave's health ministry said, AFP reported.
Fifteen people have been wounded across Gaza, the ministry said.
The flare-up came after Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians, including a teenager, and wounded hundreds of others in border clashes on Friday, the latest in months of protests.
Israel's armed forces claimed dozens of strikes targeted “military facilities” belonging to Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that the group had agreed upon an "Egyptian offer to return to a ceasefire to stop this escalation."
Separately, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad movement said that his group will honor the ceasefire as long as the Tel Aviv regime follows suit. He noted that despite the ceasefire his group reserves the right to retaliate any manner of Israeli aggression.
Hamas was quick in retaliatory attacks against Israeli positions in the occupied Palestinian territories when it launched 90 rockets. The Israeli military claimed that its so-called Iron Dome missile defense system had managed to intercept 16 of the projectiles.
Early in the morning, the Israeli military said in a statement that at least one Hamas rocket landed inside a rural settlement in Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council area.
Israeli media reported that more than 140 rocket alarm sirens also sounded throughout communities near the Israel-Gaza border from midnight into the morning.
Saturday’s exchange of missiles and rockets is considered as the biggest since the 2014 Israeli war on the impoverished sliver. The war began in early July and ended in late August the same year. The Israeli military aggression killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and injured over 11,100 others.
Palestinians in Gaza have for months been demonstrating against Israel's decade-long blockade of the territory and in support of their right to return to lands they fled or were driven from during the war surrounding the creation of the Zionist regime in 1948.
In fresh violence Friday, a 15-year-old was shot dead during the demonstrations and a 20-year-old died later of gunshot wounds sustained during the protest, the Gaza health ministry said.
Since the protests and clashes broke out along the border on March 30, at least 141 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.
No Israelis have been killed, but officials said one soldier was injured by a grenade on Friday.