08:54 GMT03 August 2021
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The Israeli army hit a mortar launcher in the Gaza Strip in response to the firing of two mortar shells from the Palestinian enclave, the Israel Defense Forces said on Sunday, hours after reports emerged about the ceasefire agreement reached by the Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.

    "Following reports regarding a siren in the Eshkol Regional Council, two mortar shells were launched from Gaza at Israel. In response, the IDF struck the launcher from which the mortar shells were fired," the IDF wrote on Twitter.

    ​An hour later IDF reported sirens in Sderot, saying that another two rockets were fired from Gaza. The defence forces said that one of the rockets had been intercepted by Iron Dome air defence system. Head of IDF Public Diplomacy reported later that one of the rockets launched from Gaza hit a synagogue.

    The fire exchange happened amid reports about the ceasefire deal between Israel and armed groups in Gaza Strip, which emerged in the late hours of Saturday. The agreement was reportedly brokered by Egypt.

    Military actions escalated in the area in the early hours of Saturday, when the Israel Air Force started hitting militants' targets in the Gaza Strip. The shelling followed Friday's border riots. The situation led to the largest escalation between the sides over the past years.

    The situation on the Gaza border deteriorated in mid-May after US opened its Embassy in Jerusalem. On March 30, the rally called Great March of Return began on the border. The Israeli side has been using lethal arms to suppress the rallies citing security concerns and putting the blame for the escalation on the Hamas radical movement.


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    Israel, Gaza Strip, Palestine, Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
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