BBC Changes Gaza Headline After Criticism From Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in meeting discussing the situation in Gaza with Defense Minister

The Israeli military, apparently referring to the same incident, said it returned fire after soldiers were fired upon from a Hamas post in the northern Gaza Strip, near the border with Israel. Two pregnant women went into premature labor as a result of the rockets and eight other Israelis were taken to the hospital to be treated for anxiety attacks.

The strikes come in retaliation for a six-hour barrage of rockets which forced thousands of Israelis to seek shelter along Gaza border towns.

Almost 160 Palestinians have been killed and some 17,500 others wounded in the fresh wave of violence, according to the latest figures released by the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The military said it intercepted some 25 rockets, while most of the others landed in open areas.

Later, Palestinians fired about 70 rockets across the border, and Israeli aircraft struck at least a dozen militant targets.

Smoke plumes and fireballs could be seen over the Gaza Strip as the strikes were being carried out.

The Hamas deputy chief Khalil Al-Hayya told Al Jazeera TV on Wednesday that talks mediated by the United Nations and Egypt to bring calm to the region were in "advanced stages." according to Reuters.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the rocket attack and a tweet issued by a spokesman for the militant group, Abdullatif al-Kanoo, was translated by Al Jazeera as saying that the Palestinian resistance "is in self-defense and has a duty to respond to the aggression against our people".

At least three Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her 18-month-old child, were killed by Israeli air attacks and artillery shelling on the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israel has imposed a crippling 11-year blockade on the Gaza Strip in response, during which time it has waged three wars in Gaza, most recently in 2014.

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"War isn't a real option at this stage, and serious concessions on Gaza are not possible for this government without solving the problem of the Israeli captives in Gaza and the Palestinian prisoners in Israel".

The escalation comes after the Hamas leadership convened for a rare meeting in Gaza on Friday.

Haaretz's Amos Harel compares the situation to the movie "Groundhog Day", but says Israel may be looking for a way out.

The rocket fire came after two fighters from the military wing of Hamas were killed by Israeli fire on Tuesday.

Responding to the spate of violence overnight, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl said she is "deeply concerned about the escalation of violence and the more than 150 rockets fired at Israel".

The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which this year coincided with the U.S. embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

Mladenov warned "if the current escalation, however, is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

Gazans have held weekly protests against Israel at camps on the border since March 30, some of which have become violent.

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