>> A pregnant Palestinian woman and her toddler have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, after fighting intensified on the border with Israel overnight.
r raid sirens sounded almost non-stop in southern Israel from sundown on Wednesday, as its defense system was kept busy trying to intercept more than 80 rockets fired in its direction by Palestinian militants.
At the same time, Israeli aircraft struck 140 targets belonging to the Hamas Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials confirmed the deaths of the woman and her 18-month-old, as well as one Hamas militant. At least five other civilians were injured in the strikes. Israeli media reported several residents in its border towns were wounded by rocket fire, and some areas may be evacuated.
The flareup comes after officials on both sides had talked about potential progress in UN and Egyptian efforts to broker a truce aimed at helping to end months of simmering violence. Gaza has been controlled by Hamas by more than ten years, during which time it's fought three wars against Israel, most recently in 2014.
Neither side appears keen on another full-blown conflict. Israel's military warned Hamas on Thursday against a further escalation in violence.