Israel strikes Gaza after heaviest mortar barrage in years

Israel strikes Gaza after heaviest mortar barrage in years

Israel has attacked militant sites in Gaza after coming under the heaviest barrage of mortar and rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave in years, BBC reported.

The Israeli army said air strikes hit 35 targets, including a cross-border tunnel, belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad - Gaza's main militant groups.

In Israel, an empty kindergarten was hit when militants fired more than 30 mortars earlier in the day.

The flare-up follows weeks of deadly violence on the Gaza-Israel border.

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli snipers amid protests which saw thousands of Palestinians mass on the border in support of the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel.

Israel said its snipers had opened fire on attackers or people attempting to infiltrate under cover of protests, but UN and human right officials have accused Israel of using disproportionate force.

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