Israel unleashed its biggest air strikes on the Gaza Strip since a 2014 war Saturday, killing two Palestinians, while dozens of rockets targeted Israel, but Hamas said a ceasefire had been reached late in the day.
The exchange of fire followed months of tension that has raised the prospect of a fourth war in the blockaded Gaza Strip since 2008.
In Israel, air raid sirens sent people rushing to shelters in areas surrounding the Gaza Strip as rockets and mortars were fired from the Palestinian enclave at nearby communities.
Israel said around 100 rockets and mortars were fired, mostly mortars.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas had been hit with “the hardest blow” since a 2014 war “and we will increase the strength of our attacks as necessary.”
Hamas’s Barhoum said the group was responsible for the barrage against Israel and that it was carried out “in response to the Israeli air strikes”.
Since the protests and clashes broke out along the border on March 30, at least 141 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.
The majority of those killed were involved in protests and clashes but others were seeking to breach or damage the border fence.
Molotov cocktails, flaming tyres and stones were also hurled in the direction of its soldiers, according to the Israeli army.
Israel says its use of live fire is necessary to defend its borders and stop infiltrations. Palestinians and rights groups say unarmed protesters are being shot while posing no real threat.