(BBC) – Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip have stepped up their attacks on each other, in some of the most intense exchanges of recent years.
The army says Palestinian militants have fired 600 rockets into Israeli territory over the weekend. Many were intercepted but three Israelis died.
Israel says it has hit 260 targets in the Gaza Strip and threatened further “massive” strikes.
At least 15 people have died so far in Gaza, the Health Ministry there says.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had ordered the military to “continue its massive strikes on terror elements in the Gaza Strip”.
Israeli forces around Gaza would be “stepped up with tank, artillery and infantry forces”, he added.
The flare-up comes despite a truce agreed last month. Egypt and the United Nations have recently been trying to broker a longer-term ceasefire.
How did the latest round of violence develop?
It began on Friday, during protests in Gaza against the blockade of the area – which Israel says is needed to stop weapons reaching militants.
A Palestinian gunman shot and wounded two Israeli soldiers at the boundary fence. Israel retaliated with an air strike that killed two militants.
The rocket barrage from Gaza began on Saturday morning. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system shot down dozens of the rockets, but a number of homes in Israeli towns and villages were hit.
What do we know about casualties?
Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, 10km (six miles) north of Gaza, has said it has treated more than 100 civilians in the last 24 hours.
Out of those, three people died and three more were seriously wounded – including an elderly Israeli woman.
Those killed included a 58-year-old man struck in a garden, Israeli media say.
Israel air strikes targeted sites belonging to the militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday, the Israeli military said they had killed a Hamas commander named Hamed Hamdan al-Khodari in one of their strikes.
Gaza’s Health Ministry says the 15 killed there include two pregnant women and an infant.
Israel has contested the account of the death of one woman and her 14-month-old niece killed on Saturday. They blamed their deaths on a Palestinian rocket that fell short of its target.
The sites destroyed include a multi-storey building in Gaza City, which Israel said included Hamas intelligence offices.
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