Palestinians say truce reached with Israel to end deadly escalation

The vehicle that sustained a direct hit from a rocket near Yad Mordechai

"END the violence and work towards peace - it can happen!", Trump said in a message on Twitter.

Despite ceasefire reports, Israeli authorities have chose to keep schools in southern Israel-within a 40-kilometer (25-mile) radius of Gaza-closed for the day, according to the Times of Israel. Two were confirmed as Israeli, the army said. Israel said its strikes were in response to Hamas and Islamic Jihad firing some 690 rockets or mortars across the border since Saturday, with Israeli air defences intercepting more than 240 of them.

Palestinian officials report that Egypt has mediated a truce after rocket attacks and air strikes killed more than 20 people in Gaza and southern Israel.

The Israeli military says it retaliated with airstrikes on more than 260 Hamas targets inside Gaza.

Rockets and missiles from Gaza killed four civilians in Israel, while Israeli strikes killed 19 Palestinians, more than half of them civilians, in surging cross-border fighting on Sunday, according to Gazan officials and the Israeli military.

Palestinian medical officials reported 23 deaths, including at least nine militants as well as two pregnant women and two babies.

The flare-up came as Hamas, the movement that rules the blockaded enclave, sought further concessions from Israel under a fragile months-old ceasefire.

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Egypt brokered an agreement to cease hostilities from 4.30am local time, an official from the strip's Islamist rulers Hamas and another from its allied group Islamic Jihad said on condition of anonymity.

The attack on his vehicle was the first such killing by Israel of a top militant since Hamas and Israel engaged in open war five years ago.

Israel killed a Hamas commander in the targeted strike on Sunday. "Israel has the absolute right to defend itself & the US stands by our great ally Israel".

The current fighting was apparently sparked when an Islamic Jihad sniper wounded two Israeli soldiers Friday. On the Gazan side, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is set to begin. It commemorates its Memorial and Independence Days later this week and is due to host the Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv from May 14-18, which is expected to draw thousands to Israel.

Turkey said its state news agency Anadolu had an office in the building, and strongly denounced the strike.

Some 2 million Palestinians live in Gaza, the economy of which has suffered years of Israeli and Egyptian blockades as well as recent foreign aid cuts and sanctions by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas' West Bank-based rival.

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