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"They have the ability, the control and the power to escalate or to deescalate the situation, to rein in the Palestinian's and their own extremist factions in Hamas or to escalate the situation", said military spokesman Jonathan Conricus.

"The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios and is determined to act against terror operatives.", the IDF said.

Al Hayya said in a statement early Wednesday that there had been considerable mediation efforts - an apparent reference to Egyptian-led talks - resulting in "a consensus to return to the ceasefire understandings of the Gaza Strip".

In the 41-page report, the New York-based rights group said Israel's seven largest banks provide services to settlements and facilitate their expansion, thus abetting unlawful population transfers.

Militants from Hamas, the dominant group in Gaza, and Islamic Jihad fired dozens of rockets and mortar bombs at Israel throughout Tuesday and overnight, to which Israel responded with tank and air strikes on more than 50 targets in the enclave.

Israeli officials said Wednesday, though, a cease-fire agreement with Hamas had not been reached.

Both Hamas and pro-Iran Islamic Jihad said they fired their salvoes in response to Israel's killing of at least 116 Palestinians since March 30 in Gaza border protests. Egypt mediated the ceasefire reached in 2014, and have been instrumental in communicating between Hamas and Israel.

Despite the heavy barrage, no civilian casualties have been reported on the Israeli side as its Iron Dome missile defense system shot down numerous projectiles.

It called on worldwide agencies and human rights organisations to condemn the attack and punish Israel for its repeated crimes.

'Murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko appears on Ukrainian TV
Babchenko was 19 when he was sent to fight in Russia's first Chechen campaign in the 1990s as a conscript. The SBU said it had received information about the plot and had managed to prevent it.

One of the first places hit was a kindergarten near the Gaza border.

PIJ released a statement saying that the mortar fire was "a blessed response of the resistance".

"Hamas [either] allows the fire to go ahead, turns a blind eye or is party to it. Hamas is not interested in escalation and yet allows the incidents to continue".

The United States condemned the attacks out of Gaza and called for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

Israeli forces later stopped and seized the main protest boat as it approached the blockade limit at nine nautical miles, while others were said to have turned back.

"This was a dual-use tunnel, both for smuggling and terrorism", Manelis said, adding it was created to "bypass (Israel's border security) fence".

Early on Wednesday, Israel reportedly hit 25 Hamas targets on the Gaza Strip.

Violence along the Gaza frontier soared in recent weeks.

A picture taken on May 29, 2018 shows fishing boats carrying a group of Palestinian activists who are protesting and perhaps trying to breach Israel's naval blockade on Gaza, setting to sail from Gaza City harbour.