Lull in fighting between Israel, Gaza militants

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JERUSALEM — A deadly flare-up in fighting between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas group subsided today after Egypt helped to restore calm ahead of a major Muslim holiday.

Weeks of simmering violence intensified on Tuesday night, when rocket fire from Gaza drew Israeli airstrikes that killed two Palestinian militants. Palestinian militants were angry over a series of Israeli strikes that targeted shadowy jihadists in Gaza. The hostilities came to a boil Wednesday, when militants fired some 80 rockets and mortars at southern Israel, and Israeli aircraft struck Gaza four times.

The rocket and mortar fire stopped overnight, though one projectile landed in southern Israel this morning, causing no damage. The military said it last struck Gaza on Wednesday morning. The violence ebbed as Muslims began preparing for the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins Friday.

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