TERRIFYING moment rocket EXPLODES in Israel near CHILDREN - causing premature BIRTH

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot attends a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting at the Knesset

Sirens were sounded in several areas close to the border with Gaza, warning residents to seek immediate shelter, the Israeli army said.

Military and Defence Correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, Anna Ahronheim said: "A 34-year-old is in light to moderate condition with wounds from glass shards and a 20-year-old in a light condition with injuries to limbs".

One Hamas militant was killed in the air strikes, as was a Palestinian woman and her 18 month old child, Palestinian officials said.

A Hamas militant was killed in one strike, with at least 12 others injured, the health ministry in Gaza said.

"As of now, approximately 70 rocket launches were identified from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory", the army said in a statement.

Over 70 rockets were fired towards Israel from Gaza on Wednesday, eleven of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the Israeli military said, announcing retaliatory strikes against Hamas targets.

There are also reports that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has carried out drone strike on multiple locations in Gaza, but this is unconfirmed.

"Hamas hit the "enemy" with a large number of rockets", it said.

The majority hit open areas while 11 were intercepted, it said.

An Israeli policeman surveys the scene where a rocket exploded in the southern city of Sderot, Israel August 8, 2018.

A statement from the military wing of Hamas, the group that runs Gaza, claimed responsibility for the rockets.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli army shelled a Hamas military position in Gaza in retaliation for an alleged attack from the Palestinian side that targeted its heavy equipment on the Gaza-Israeli border.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of the security cabinet due to the growing tensions in the Gaza Strip which was attended by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and senior commanders.

The attacks come as the United Nations and Egypt try to secure a deal between Israel and Hamas for a lasting truce.

Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for all fire coming from the long-blockaded coastal territory.

More than 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the Great March of Return protests were launched at the end of March.

One Israeli soldier has been shot dead by a Palestinian sniper during the same period, while incendiary devices attached to balloons and kites launched by Palestinians have sparked hundreds of fires in southern Israel, burning some 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of forest and farmland.

Reports in recent weeks have indicated that a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas may be in the works that would include easing the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

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