Rockets kill 2 Israelis; 26 die in Gaza as Israel hits Hamas

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A confrontation between Israel and Hamas sparked by weeks of tensions in contested Jerusalem is escalating. Israel unleashed new airstrikes on Gaza on Tuesday, killing a number of militants and civilians. Meanwhile, militants barraged southern Israel with hundreds of rockets, killing two Israelis. Gaza health officials said 26 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, most by airstrikes, since sundown Monday. The Israeli military said at least 16 of the dead were militants. Two women were killed by rockets fired from Gaza that hit their homes in the southern city of Ashkelon — the first Israeli deaths in the current violence. At least 10 other Israelis have been wounded.