Israeli military says has begun striking Hamas in Gaza

File Nickolay Mladenov left United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process briefs the United Nations Security Council in a video conference Monday

Palestinians heard two loud explosions in northern Gaza and reported that two Israeli drones were hovering over Gaza City.

An earlier barrage from Gaza, which sent thousands of Israelis running to bomb shelters, came shortly before the ceasefire statement. Hamas launched a rocket that flew toward the center of the country, slamming into a private home in the Sharon region.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted several of the projectiles and most of the other rockets and mortars fell in open areas, the army said.

The Israel Defense Forces say the rocket was sacked from the southern Gaza Strip and caused seven casualties, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. There are no immediate reports of casualties.

School has been cancelled for Tuesday in the city of Ashkelon and the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, areas that have been hit by rockets in past flare-ups, the Ministry of Education announced following recommendations from the Home Front Command.

Photographs of the scene show that a wall was pierced by pieces of shrapnel and that a balcony awning was destroyed by the impact.

A police sapper inspects a damaged house that was hit by a rocket north of Tel Aviv Israel March 25, 2019. "What better way to distract their public, and turn their ire away from Hamas and back toward Israel, than to provoke a heavy Israeli response?"

After bombing Haniyeh's office, The IDF took to twitter to gloat.

The Israeli military retaliated for an early morning rocket attack by targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short his United States visit.

Rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on March 25, 2019. Seven Israelis were wounded including children. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

Israeli airstrikes have hit the office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, the IDF said. An Israel-Egyptian blockade, imposed to weaken Hamas, combined with sanctions by the Palestinian Authority and mismanagement by the Hamas government, have all fueled an economic crisis that has left Gaza with an unemployment rate above 50 percent.

The barrage of rockets from Gaza hit Israeli towns around the border, including a house in the town of Sderot.

The Syrian regime said that Washington's Golan move was a blatant attack on its sovereignty.

Israel's military said they were launched by Hamas, but later Israeli media reported the army's preliminary assessment was that they had been fired by mistake during maintenance work.

That response started on Monday evening local time, with the IDF striking Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip.

Israel has vowed to respond "forcefully", raising the prospect of a fourth war between Israel and Gaza's militant Hamas rulers.

"An agreement on a ceasefire was reached between Palestinian factions and Israel upon Egyptian mediation", a senior Palestinian official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Later he said a building "right in the middle of densely populated Gaza city" had been "entirely destroyed".

Hamas and Israel agreed to a second ceasefire in just 10 days with the help of Egypt after at least 10 Hamas-manufactured rockets struck a home in Mishmeret, Israel, early Monday.

Mishmeret, is more than 80km from the Gaza Strip and rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave at this distance is rare.

The Israel Defense Forces said that two additional brigades would be deployed to the area and a partial mobilization of reserves would take place.

Both positions were likely to have been evacuated, as Hamas had hours of notice that Israeli strikes were coming.

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