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Israel kills two Palestinian teenagers in Gaza border unrest Open in fullscreen

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Israel kills two Palestinian teenagers in Gaza border unrest

Palestinian children in Gaza on the day of the attacks [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 February, 2018

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The Saturday explosion and ensuing Israeli airstrikes marked one of the most serious escalations in the besieged enclave since the Hamas movement and Israel fought a war in 2014.
Two Palestinian teenagers were killed by Israeli fire, medical sources in the besieged Gaza Strip said on Sunday, after four soldiers were wounded in an apparent bomb attack on the Gaza-Israel border.

The Saturday explosion and ensuing Israeli airstrikes marked one of the most serious escalations in the besieged enclave since the Hamas movement and Israel fought a war in 2014.

Israel's army said it attacked 18 "terror targets" belonging to Palestinian movement Hamas in two waves of airstrikes following the blast.

"Eight targets were attacked in a military compound near Deir el-Balah, which belongs to the Hamas terror organisation, including weapon-manufacturing and training infrastructures," it said in a statement on early Sunday.

It earlier said fighter jets had targeted "six military targets in Gaza belonging to Hamas, including: a terror tunnel in the Zaytun area and military compounds near Deir el-Balah and Khan Younis".

The army also reported that a "launch was identified from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory", with a projectile hitting near a home in a southern Israeli community.

An Israeli police spokesman said the projectile had damaged a building but caused no injuries.

The two Palestinian fatalities were identified by the Gaza health ministry as Salam Sabah and Abdullah Abu Sheikha, both 17, who were killed during a strike east of Rafah in southern Gaza.

Palestinian eyewitnesses say they were shot by Israeli forces near the border on Saturday.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich late Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had called the Gaza border incident "very serious" and pledged to "respond appropriately".

A Palestinian security source said the Israeli airstrikes hit three bases belonging to Hamas in the east of the blockaded Gaza enclave.

Two Palestinians were injured in the raids, Palestinian medical sources said.

Earlier in the day the army said "two soldiers were severely wounded, one moderately and one slightly" when an improvised explosive device blew up along the border fence with Gaza.

None of the soldiers' lives were in danger, a spokesman said.

Palestinian security sources said the explosion took place east of the city of Khan Younis.

Israeli forces said they responded using a tank to promptly open fire at an "observation post".

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