And while The Washington Post's opening sentence recounts the events in reverse chronological order it does explicitly state that the Israeli strikes were in response to the Palestinian rockets: "Israel struck more than 150 targets in Gaza in response to a barrage of rockets from the Palestinian territory, its military said Thursday, in a significant escalation even as negotiations took place on a longer term cease-fire" (Emphasis added).
Palestinians inspect a house that was damaged in an Israeli airstrike on Dair al Balah in the center of Gaza Strip on August 9, 2018. In the absence of a deal, Israel was able to target "valuable" Hamas military targets in Gaza, the official said.
Most Israelis in the south of the country were shifting back to their daily routines on Friday as violence from the Gaza Strip subsided and a tense calm set in, following a two-day bout of fighting that saw the heaviest rocket fire and retaliatory Israeli strikes since the 2014 Gaza war.
While Israeli officials insisted that their large-scale attack on Gaza was in response to Hamas rocket fire, Haaretz reports that it was in fact the Israeli army that sparked the escalation by killing two Palestinians with tank fire, after they allegedly mistook a training exercise for an actual attack.
According to the IDF statement, the building served Hamas to manage internal security throughout the Gaza Strip and some of the unit's personnel were also active in the terrorist organization's military wing.
Strikingly, the word "respond", or any variation thereof, appears only in context of Hamas responding to Israeli strikes: "Hamas, the Islamic militant group that has ruled Gaza for 11 years, has been trying to change the balance of deterrence in the area, responding to every Israeli strike against Gaza".
The official told Haaretz that Hamas "will pay the price for its violations in the last four months", seemingly referring to the ongoing Great March of Return protests that began on March 30th, over which time Israeli forces have killed at least 160 Palestinians and injured 17,000 more.More news: Showtime Loves the Who Is America? Controversy, and Wants More of It
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was convening a meeting of his security Cabinet.
Two Palestinian officials said on condition of anonymity that Gaza militants halted rocket fire at noon on Thursday.
The rocket fire provoked a wave of Israeli strikes across the enclave overnight that killed three Palestinians, including a toddler.
After a sleepless night for residents of Gaza and nearby Israeli communities on Wednesday, there was little respite on Thursday morning.
The development comes after two days of Israeli aerial raids against at least 150 positions in Gaza.
Israel's military reported seven civilians wounded. That's according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The ministry said Khammash was also pregnant.
In Sderot, the Israeli city near the Gaza Strip, a gaping hole could be seen in front of a small, three-storey building.More news: God of War New Game Plus Coming August 20, Details Revealed
"I will never leave, never", said Hagit Shetreet, 45, who had to run to a shelter due to the rocket fire.
Military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said he had no information on the woman and child killed, but noted a pregnant Israeli woman was taken to hospital Wednesday night after a rocket landed nearby. Some rockets landed in the communities, and many others were shot down by the Iron Dome, which is created to intercept only rockets headed towards population centers.
UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov said the United Nations had engaged with Egypt in an "unprecedented effort" to avoid serious conflict, but cautioned that "the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".
A surge in cross-border rockets and air strikes in recent weeks have prompted the United Nations and Egypt to try to broker a truce to prevent another all-out conflict.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the worldwide community to "immediately and urgently intervene". Egypt has also only sporadically opened its border with Gaza over the past decade.
At least 165 Palestinians have killed by Israeli fire since then. An Israeli soldier was killed by a Gaza sniper during this period.More news: Kourtney Kardashian Reportedly Dumped Younes Bendjima a Month Ago