Israel denies ceasefire with Hamas after overnight airstrikes



Israeli sirens warning of imminent rocket and mortar strikes sounded late into the night and Israeli aircraft hit 55 militant targets in the Gaza Strip, including a cross-border tunnel under construction, the military said.

Israel stopped short of declaring any formal ceasefire with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which it, along with Western nations, regards as terrorist organisations, but said any resumption of Palestinian attacks would bring a stronger military response.

The worldwide campaign for a military embargo against Israel was launched by the BDS movement to pressure Israel into complying with global law and respect Palestinians' human rights.

Hamas say they have agreed to a ceasefire with Israel to end the largest flare-up of violence between the sides since the 2014 war.

The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the firing, saying it was in response to Israel's killing of dozens of Palestinians since 30 March, majority in Gaza border protests.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched a barrage of rockets into Israel on Tuesday.

In an email to the United States mission seen by AFP, Kuwait said: "We can not agree to the text put forth by your delegation especially as we are considering a draft resolution that deals with the protection of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip".

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"Israel does not want the situation to deteriorate, but those who started the violence must stop it", he told Israeli public radio.

Armed Palestinian groups are taking responsibility for the barrage of launches, which left three Israeli soldiers injured on Tuesday.

There were no reports of further attacks after Hamas announced early on Wednesday that it would cease fire if Israel did the same. Some were shot down by Israel's Iron Dome rocket interceptor system and others landed in empty lots and farmland.

One mortar shell exploded near a kindergarten building, a military spokesman said, damaging the structure.

On Monday, the Israeli military killed a Palestinian it said approached the Gaza border fence with Israel.

Israel has been condemned globally for its disproportionate use of force against the Palestinian protesters.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who called the meeting, said a proposed statement to condemn the Hamas attacks was blocked. In response, Israeli airplanes bombed a Hamas military compound.

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