Palestinian mourners carry the body of 15-year-old Othman Hilles, out of the family home during his funeral in Gaza City, Saturday, July 14, 2018. Hilles was killed on Friday by Israeli fire at a border protest, Gaza's Health Ministry said.
Palestinian mourners carry the body of 15-year-old Othman Hilles, out of the family home during his funeral in Gaza City, Saturday, July 14, 2018. Hilles was killed on Friday by Israeli fire at a border protest, Gaza's Health Ministry said.

The Israeli army has carried out its largest airstrike on Gaza since the 2014 war, and Hamas militants are retaliating by firing rockets into Israeli territory.

The airstrikes started early Saturday and were met with mortar and rocket strikes from the Palestinian side. Israel said it struck more than 40 Hamas targets. The Islamic Hamas organization governs Gaza.

The Israeli military said Hamas responded to its airstrikes with more than 50 rockets.

A Palestinian official told the Reuters news agency that Egypt and other international players are talking with Israel and Hamas in efforts to restore calm.

Saturday's violence followed the death Friday of a Palestinian teenager during what have become weekly protests at the border between Gaza and Israel.

The Gaza Health Ministry said Friday that the 15-year-old was killed during clashes that also injured 25 people. A 20-year-old Palestinian later died from injuries in the hospital, bringing the Palestinian death toll to at least 137 since the weekly protests began March 30.

Israel has experienced a number of damaging fires resulting from incendiary devices – often gasoline-soaked rags set on fire – that Palestinians send across the border with kites and balloons.

Protesters have also hurled firebombs, explosives, and burning tires at Israeli forces.

The Palestinians say they are protesting a plan by Israeli authorities to demolish a Bedouin village in the West Bank.

On Friday the Israeli Supreme Court said it would delay a decision on the village until at least August 15.

Israel says the Palestinian demonstrations provide cover for the military wing of Hamas to breach Israeli security.

Also Friday, the European Union demanded that Israel re-open the Kerem Shalom border crossing that has been closed since Monday. The crossing handles the passage of most commercial goods and humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israel said the closure was retaliation for the airborne incendiary attacks.

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