Israel, Hamas agree to restore calm in Gaza: Hamas

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Weekly clashes at the Israel-Gaza border have kept tensions high for months.

The new tank has a sensor system, which gives its commander a full view of the surroundings in his helmet, and can be equipped with a computer system based on artificial intelligence, the Israeli military said. More than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests started on March 30.

During this time, fires caused by incendiary helium balloons and kites launched by Palestinians in Gaza over the border have ravaged tracts of Israeli farmland.

A senior Hamas official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP the deal involved "the cessation of all forms of military escalation" including Israeli air strikes and Hamas mortars and rockets.

Israel's latest bombardment of Gaza comes just days after Israel further intensified its collective punishment of the Palestinian people by imposing "genocidal" trade restrictions on the occupied territory.

Israel says it is defending its sovereign border and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the border fence and attack Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The Israeli military has launched strikes into Gaza, killing four Palestinians and wounding hundreds, in retaliation for Palestinian gunmen killing an Israeli soldier on the Gaza front.

"The event that happened today is something that we can not tolerate and can not allow to become a routine norm, that's why we retaliated and that's why we continue to target military targets belonging to Hamas", said Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman.

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"We reached [an agreement] to return to the previous state of calm between the [Israeli] occupation and the Palestinian factions", Barhoum said.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a statement after holding a phone conversation with Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations' envoy to the region. Israeli warplanes pounded the Gaza Strip on Friday after a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier along the border fence. Spokesperson of the Israeli army said Israeli forces continue working against a "group of targets" in the Gaza Strip; he held the Hamas movement entirely responsible for the consequences of its actions.

Lieberman also warned that a new military operation on Gaza "will be larger and more painful than Operation Protective Edge", referring to the 2014 Israeli war on the coastal enclave.

Israel's military said its aircraft and tanks had targeted "eight military posts" belonging to Hamas.

Protesters are demanding the "right of return" to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were forced out in 1948 to make way for the formation of the state of Israel.

'The ceasefire is crucial and shows neither side wants war but it's only temporary reprieve'.

Khalil al-Hayya, Hamas's deputy chief in Gaza, said the kites would continue to fly.

Last weekend saw the most severe exchange of fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza since the 2014 war.

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