Updated May 5, 2019

Gaza rocket fire kills first Israeli civilians since 2014 war

Israeli soldiers stand near a car that was direct hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on the Kibbutz Erez. Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images

More than 600 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip within 24 hours on Sunday, killing at least 4 Israeli civilians for the first time since the 2014 war with Hamas, AP reports.

The big picture: The barrage of rocket attacks marks one of Israel and Gaza's "most intense flareups of violence in years," per AP. The Israeli military said it retaliated with 0ver 220 airstrikes against "high-quality" militant sites, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising that Hamas will be held accountable for both its own actions and the actions of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, which operates out of Gaza.

  • Israel's military said 8 militants were killed in retaliatory airstrikes. Palestinian officials said the strikes killed at least 18, though IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus claimed several civilians — including a pregnant woman and her niece — were killed by a misfired Palestinian rocket. "The conflicting accounts could not immediately be reconciled," AP notes.
  • The deadly exchange comes in spite of a truce agreed to last month, with Egypt and the United Nations engaged in efforts to "broker a longer-term ceasefire," BBC News reports.

Go deeper: The latest on the White House's upcoming "peace plan"

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