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Air strikes by Israel's military on the Gaza border have killed three people including a pregnant woman and her toddler, the Gaza Health Ministry says.

"As of now, approximately 70 rocket launches were identified from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory", the army said in a statement.

IDF confirmed striking targets in Gaza on Wednesday in response to two rockets from Gaza which fell in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, lightly injuring two people according to medics at the scene.

Enas Khammash, 23, and her 18-month daughter Bayan were killed in an airstrike in Jafarawi in central Gaza, the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled strip said, while her husband was injured. Twenty-four of the slain protesters were minors, the ministry has said.

On Wednesday, UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov condemned the Hamas rocket fire and called for both sides to step away from the brink.

In a written statement, the Ezzeddin Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The Israel Defense Forces hit 12 Hamas positions across the Gaza Strip, including a factory that produces concrete for terror tunnels, late Wednesday night after several dozen rockets were fired on southern Israel by the Hamas terror group.

Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel as seen from Sderot.

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According to the IDF, the rockets were launched from the Hamas-run enclave and two were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system.

A senior member of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that controls Gaza, said talks mediated by the United Nations and Egypt on a deal to tamp down tensions were in "advanced stages".

There were no immediate reports of fresh Israeli injuries or damage.

Israel's military on Thursday warned Hamas against a further escalation in violence, and Israeli media said officials were considering evacuating residents from areas near the Gaza border.

"The IDF sees with severity the terrorist activities of Hamas", said the army spokesperson in a statement Wednesday night.

Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations' humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, in a news release called Israel's restriction of fuel imports "a risky practice, with grave consequences on the rights of people in Gaza".

At least 158 Palestinians have been killed in four months of weekly border protests and one Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Gaza sniper.

They also demand an end to Israel's 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.


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