Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Israeli forces kill at least four Palestinians in Gaza

Smoke rises from an Israeli strike in the east of Gaza City Smoke rises from an Israeli strike in the east of Gaza City
Glenn Montgomery | 21 July, 2018, 13:29

In a brief statement early Saturday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the movement accepted the cease-fire brokered by Egyptian and United Nations officials and that calm had been restored.

Yesterday, three Hamas militants were killed as air raids sent fireballs exploding into the sky over Gaza, while Israel said rockets had been fired back at its territory.

At least four Palestinians were killed in later Israeli strikes, according to Palestinian medical officials.

On Friday, a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier along the border - the first casualty it has sustained in four years - and Israel unleashed an offensive it says destroyed more than 60 Hamas targets, including three battalion headquarters.

Gaza's militant Hamas rulers said Saturday they had accepted a cease-fire ending a massive Israeli onslaught on militant positions after a soldier was shot dead, once again pulling the sides back from the brink of a full-fledged war.

Friday's flare-up is the latest as demonstrations and clashes on the frontier since March have seen at least 149 Palestinians killed. Gaza's ministry of health said that other people were injured.

It accuses Hamas of controlling the makeshift devices, which have set fields in Israel ablaze, as well as orchestrating the protests at the border, which Israel regards as a threat to its border communities.

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The tactic has become popular during the months-long Gaza border protests known as The Great March of Return, in which Israeli security forces have killed more than 140 Palestinians.

According to Israeli officials, these have caused a number of fires inside Israel, causing significant material damage but not resulting in any deaths or injuries.

Israeli forces said the attacks came after one of its soldiers was hit by Palestinian gunmen.

Reports said Israeli special forces had been stationed near border communities to prevent possible Hamas attacks through attack tunnels dug into Israel.

Israel resumed air attacks on Gaza after last week's projectile attacks, warning that it would take whatever action necessary to stop incendiary kites and balloons being flown over the border.

Palestinians are demanding the right to return to homes and villages they fled or were driven from during the conflict surrounding the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948.

Khalil al-Hayya, a top Hamas leader, said "the protests will remain, flaming and existing, and its tools will multiply and diversify, including kites, until our goals are achieved".

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