Palestinian militants fire rockets, Israel strikes Gaza

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Israeli fighter jets struck dozens of sites across the Gaza Strip early on Saturday morning.

After five Palestinians were killed during clashes on the border, Gaza militants fired some 30 rockets at southern Israel Friday night, 10 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile shield, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The fighting in Gaza followed a bloody day of border protests Friday in which Israeli forces shot and killed four Palestinians protesting along the perimeter fence dividing Hamas-ruled Gaza and Israel.

He said Islamic Jihad would remain committed to the ceasefire as long as Israel did likewise.

"After contacts between the Islamic Jihad leadership and the brothers in Egypt it was agreed that a comprehensive ceasefire will begin immediately", spokesman Daoud Shehab said.

Another rocket was sacked from the Palestinian territory on Saturday morning, setting off sirens in nearby Israeli communities, before being shot down by Israel's Iron Dome air defense system.

Conricus said Israel would also retaliate against the Syrian government and Iran's Quds Force, and would choose where.

It said it would halt its fire if Israel did the same.

A Hamas official said that following the escalation that Egypt was again seeking to negotiate a return to calm.

Egyptian mediators have been in the region for weeks, trying to secure calm and prevent a full-blown war between Israel and Gaza groups, led by the larger militant Hamas group.

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Ashraf al Qidra, spokesman for Gaza's health ministry, said Mohammed al Nabi, a 27-year-old Palestinian was shot in the head by Israeli snipers.

The Gaza targets included weapons production sites and a factory that makes parts for subterranean tunnels, the army said, adding that the later was near a school. COGAT, the Israeli defense body that handles Palestinian civilian issues, said one of the rockets hit an ambulance crossing used to transfer Gazans out of the strip in emergency humanitarian cases.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas.

Israel rarely acknowledges it has reached a truce with Gaza's militant groups, which it designates as terrorist organisations.

Confrontations between Gaza and Israel began escalating in late March after Palestinians launched a campaign of weekly Friday protests against Israel.

Palestinians have been protesting along the frontier since March 30, demanding an end to an Israeli blockade and the right to return to lands from which they fled or were driven when Israel was founded in 1948.

The Israeli military said dozens of protesters hurled rocks and explosives at troops who responded with "riot dispersal means" and who fired live rounds in cases when there was a direct threat to life.

Health officials in Gaza said nine Palestinians were wounded in one of the Israeli strikes and a hospital was badly damaged.

These demonstrations take place each Friday, regularly sending massive amounts of thick smoke into the Israeli communities nearby, as Palestinians burn tires along the border and send incendiary devices affixed to balloons into Israel to spark fires.