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Palestinian woman killed by Israeli shelling on Gaza

Zeina al-Amour's family mourn her death as she is laid to rest Thursday night [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 6 May, 2016

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A Palestinian woman was killed on Thursday when Israeli tank shells hit her home in the southern Gaza Strip, after a night of airstrikes on the enclave.

A Palestinian woman was killed when Israeli tank shells hit her home in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, the second day of cross border fire on the besieged enclave.

Late on Thursday afternoon, tank shelling killed Zeina al-Amour, 54, according to the Nasser hospital that pronounced her death. A 21-year-old was also wounded in artillery shelling in the area.

The shelling came after a night in which Israeli air raids on Gaza wounded four people, three of them children, medical and security officials said.

The violence erupted on Wednesday when Israeli forces and heavy military vehicles encroached into the Gaza Strip, prompting Palestinian factions to open fire to push them back.

Israel says its soldiers were searching for tunnels used by Hamas, while Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas figure, said the incursion is an attempt to cement a new border, more than 150 metres from the existing line.

Hamas' armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the military incursion inside the Gaza Strip.

"The enemy should not invoke any reason whatsoever for its actions and leave the Gaza Strip immediately," the statement read.

The Qassam Brigades added that Israeli military action marked a breach of the 2014 ceasefire agreed after Israel's offensive on the enclave two years ago.

Hamas sources told The New Arab that Egyptian and international mediations have led to a deal under which the Israeli army would withdraw from areas on the eastern Gaza border in exchange for a renewed ceasefire.

However, Israeli General Yoav Mordechai denied reports about a ceasefire agreement between the sides.

"The army intends to maintain its activities against Hamas as it continues to breach Israeli sovereignty and build tunnels," he said in a statement.

Gaza has been devastated by three Israeli wars on the embattled territory since 2008, with virtually no reconstruction amid an Israeli blockade on all imports that could have a "military purposes".

The last major Israeli onslaught on Gaza was the 50-day war in the summer of 2014, which killed more than 2,251 Palestinians and 73 Israelis, including 67 soldiers, according to the United Nations.

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