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Israeli jets hit 80 targets in Gaza amid rocket fire and protests

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Israeli fighter jets struck dozens of sites across the Gaza Strip early on Saturday as fighters fired about 30 rockets into Israel, in the heaviest exchange of fire in several weeks.

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

The fighting and bloodshed complicated the mission of Egyptian mediators, who have intensified shuttle diplomacy to achieve calm and prevent a full-blown conflict between Hamas and Israel.

The Israeli military said it had struck about 80 sites across Gaza by early Saturday morning, including a security headquarters building. Air raid sirens sounded throughout the night in southern Israel, with firing some 30 rockets, the military said.

It said about 10 rockets were intercepted by its Iron Dome rocket defence system, two landed prematurely in Gaza and the rest fell in open areas. Israel’s military chief, General Gadi Eisenkot, convened an emergency meeting of top security officials, the army added, without elaborating.

There was no word on injuries as a result of the air strikes.

[Source: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES]
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