Three Hamas militants killed as Israel strikes targets ‘throughout Gaza’

Published July 21, 2018, 7:28 AM

by iManila Developer

By Agence France-Presse

Israeli aircraft and tanks hit targets across the Gaza Strip Friday after shots were fired at troops on the border, the army said, with Hamas reporting three members of its military wing killed.

Smoke plumes rise from an Israeli bombardment in Gaza City on July 20, 2018 as months of tensions spilled over into fresh violence (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Smoke plumes rise from an Israeli bombardment in Gaza City on July 20, 2018 as months of tensions spilled over into fresh violence (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

An army statement said shots were fired at troops during renewed protests along the Gaza-Israel frontier and “in response, (Israeli) aircraft and tanks targeted military targets throughout the Gaza Strip.”

It did not say if any Israeli soldiers were hurt in the shooting.

Two Palestinians were killed in a strike east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, the health ministry in the enclave said.

A third man was killed by Israeli fire east of Rafah, also in southern Gaza, the ministry said.

The military wing of Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza, named the three men as Shaban abu Khatar, Mohammed abu Farhana and Mahmoud Qushta, saying they were fighters.

Israel’s military said it had targeted “eight military posts” belonging to Hamas.

The flare up came amid fears of another round of conflict between Hamas and Israel, who have fought three wars since 2008.

Last weekend saw the most severe exchange of fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza since a 2014 war, raising worries of another round of confrontation.

Israel hit dozens of sites it said belonged to militants in the Gaza Strip in Saturday’s strikes, killing two Palestinian teenagers.

The same day, around 200 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel from Gaza and four Israelis were wounded when a rocket hit a house in the nearby Israeli city of Sderot.

Since protests broke out on March 30, at least 147 Palestinians have been killed.

Most were shot during demonstrations and clashes along the border, but others were killed in airstrikes or by tank fire. No Israelis have been killed.

Israel has pledged a tougher response to the months of unrest.

In particular, Israeli politicians have promised a fiercer reaction to balloons and kites attached with incendiary devices, which are flown over the border into Israel in a bid to start fires.

Israel’s fire service says hundreds of fires have caused damage amounting to millions of shekels (hundreds of thousands of dollars or euros).

 
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