Reporting from Jerusalem — The toll on civilians from violence between the Israeli military and militants based in the Gaza Strip rose Monday as three Palestinians — a 15-year-old boy on his way to school and a father and daughter walking in the street — were killed by Israeli airstrikes, Palestinian officials said.
Militants from Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees on Monday fired rockets into southern Israel, hitting an empty kindergarten and damaging a residential structure in the city of Ashdod, injuring an elderly woman and another person with shrapnel. At least eight other people were treated for hysteria, officials said. No Israelis had been killed.
Militants also had expanded their targets slightly farther north toward Tel Aviv.
An Egyptian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Egypt had mediated a cease-fire between the Palestinians and Israel that went into effect at 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to wire services. He said the Palestinians agreed to stop launching rockets, and Israel agreed to stop targeting militants in airstrikes. Neither Palestinian militants nor Israel would immediately comment amid the worst flare-up along the Israel-Gaza border since August.
The three civilian deaths Monday, combined with the killing of four militants, brought the Palestinian death toll to 25 since Friday. Dozens of Palestinians have been injured, officials said.