Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 5, 2016. / AFP / SAID KHATIB
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Israeli warplanes launched new strikes against Hamas in the Gaza Strip Friday in response to mortar fire, as the worst cross-border violence since a 2014 war entered a third day.The Palestinian fire targeted Israeli forces searching along the border, and short distances inside Gaza, for infiltration tunnels leading into southern Israel -- among the most feared weapons of Hamas fighters during the 2014 conflict. Since then, Hamas and other resistance groups have fired at least 10 mortar rounds across the frontier, while Israeli tanks stationed on the border have fired repeatedly at what the army said were Hamas targets.The violence has raised concerns for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist rulers of Gaza, that has held since the 50-day war left 2,251 Palestinians and 73 Israelis dead.The Israeli army admits it has operated inside Palestinian territory but said it was within 100 meters of the border, where it says it has operated since the 2014 war.
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