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Mon May 6, 2019, 03:32 AM

Cease-fire agreed to by Israel and Gaza militants after a weekend of violence.

JERUSALEM ó Armed factions in Gaza said that they had agreed to a cease-fire with Israel that took hold in the early hours of Monday morning, after militants fired more than 600 rockets toward Israel, which responded with airstrikes.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two largest militant groups in Gaza, confirmed that a cease-fire was in place as of 4:30 a.m. local time. A spokesman for the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment on the reports but the Israeli military said that protective restrictions for civilians in southern Israel were being lifted as rocket fire had ceased.

Over the previous 48 hours, four Israelis were killed as dozens of rockets slammed into urban areas of Israelís south. Palestinian health officials in Gaza said 23 people died as Israel responded with airstrikes that brought buildings in the densely populated strip tumbling down.

It was the worst bout of violence since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, which rules Gaza, and involved the first Israeli civilian deaths by rocket fire since that clash.


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