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Israeli tanks target Hamas positions in Gaza after gunfire

Israeli tanks fired at three Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip. [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 May, 2018

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The exchanges of fire came after weeks of mass protests on the Gaza border, which peaked on Monday when some 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces.

Israeli tanks fired at three Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after gunfire from the besieged Palestinian enclave targeted soldiers, the Israeli army said.

The exchanges of fire came after weeks of mass protests on the Gaza border, which peaked on Monday when some 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces. Protests since then have dwindled.

Following the first shots fired at Israeli soldiers from northern Gaza, troops "targeted a military post belonging to the Hamas terror organisation with tank fire," the army said in a statement.

A Palestinian security source in Gaza said the target was a Hamas observation point, but that the Israeli attack resulted in no injuries.

Later in the day, gunfire from southern Gaza targeted Israeli troops, in response to which a tank targeted two Hamas "military posts" in the same region.

No Israeli soldiers were wounded in either case.

In a separate incident, bullets from a heavy machinegun fired in Gaza hit a house in nearby Israeli town Sderot, causing damage but no injuries, police said.

The army said the incident was "serious" and they considered "terror group Hamas responsible for anything taking place in and from Gaza."

Palestinians have held demonstrations on the border since 30 March for the right of return for refugees. Monday's protests were also against the move of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

During the war surrounding Israel's creation in 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes.

The protests have peaked on Fridays, with the numbers of demonstrators ranging from thousands to tens of thousands.

Israel has faced international criticism over its use of live fire, with the massacre in Gaza on Monday drawing widespread international criticism.

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed and over 10,000 injured by Israeli snipers since the Great Return March protests began in March.

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