Palestinian father and son killed following building explosion in Gaza

Smoke raises in the background following an Israeli airstrike hits a governmental building in Gaza City , Saturday, July 14, 2018. (File photo: AP)

Two Palestinians were killed and one was wounded in an explosion on Sunday in a building in Gaza, health officials said.

The cause of the blast, hours after a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the enclave was announced, was not immediately known. Health officials said the two people killed were a father and his son.

The Israeli military had carried out its largest airstrike campaign in Gaza since the 2014 war Saturday as Hamas militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel throughout the day, threatening to trigger an all-out war after weeks of growing tensions along the volatile border.

Two Palestinian teenagers were killed in an airstrike in Gaza City, while three Israelis were wounded from a rocket that landed on a residential home.

Israel said it was focused on hitting militant targets and was warning Gaza civilians to keep their distance from certain sites. But even before the report of casualties the intense tit-for-tat airstrikes and rocket barrages still marked a significant flare-up after a long period of a generally low-level, simmering conflict.

“The Israeli army delivered its most painful strike against Hamas since the 2014 war and we will increase the strength of our attacks as much as necessary,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Late Saturday, Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza announced that they had agreed to a cease-fire brokered by Egypt, but sirens warning of incoming rockets still wailed in southern Israel early Sunday and it was unclear if the cease-fire was holding.

The Israeli military lifted its restrictions along the Gaza border area, indicating it’s accepted an Egypt-mediated cease-fire to end an intense, 24-hour round of fighting with Hamas militants.

The military had shut down a popular beach and placed limitations on gatherings of large crowds. But it said on Sunday that summer camps will operate as usual and the daily routine could be resumed.

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Last Update: 06:57 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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