Local reports say that Israel and Hamas militants continued to exchange blows throughout the night and early Wednesday morning despite reports of a ceasefire brokered by Egypt, and after Tuesday witnessed moments of relative calm.
The Israeli military said it continued strikes on Hamas targets throughout the early morning hours of Wednesday after a rocket launch from the strip targeted southern Israel, triggering rocket sirens and seek shelter warnings in the Israeli city of Ashkelon.
Tuesday was the second day of cross-border violence after the latest round of fighting began when a long-range rocket launched from Gaza slammed into a residential house in central Israel, reportedly wounding seven, including multiple children.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had cut short his US trip where he discussed White House recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights with President Trump — a move which most international countries that have spoken on the matter have condemned, including close regional American ally Saudi Arabia.
The politically embattled prime minister is now just under two weeks ahead the most high pressure reelection campaign of his career on April 9, and as he faces down indictments related to multiple corruption charges and a rising opposition.
Amidst the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, Israel opened public bomb shelters throughout most major cities, and its 'Iron Dome' missile defense systems appeared active throughout Wednesday morning.
Throughout Monday the Iron Dome system had reportedly intercepted about a dozen rockets, but the tempo of the attacks slowed through Tuesday and into Wednesday.
But as of Wednesday, Reuters reports a "Tense calm" along the Gaza-Israeli border:
But while violence eased amid Egyptian mediation, Israeli forces and Palestinian militants were on hair-trigger footing, with rocket attacks from Gaza and Israeli air strikes in the enclave briefly resuming late on Tuesday after a day-long lull.
Despite dozens of rocket launchings and Israeli attacks, no deaths have been reported. Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile interceptors have destroyed some of the rockets and Palestinian militants vacated facilities targeted in the air strikes.
Amazingly, not a single death has been recorded from this week's major flare-up on either side.
Hamas leadership has been widely reported to be hiding once Israeli airstrikes began, and the IDF has claimed direct hits on a number of Hamas command post since military action ensued.
On Wednesday Egypt is expected to pursue further truce talks according to unnamed Palestinian officials speaking to Reuters.