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Israel intercepts rocket from Gaza after strikes kill three Palestinians

The Israel-Gaza border has seen an escalation in violence in recent weeks [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 July, 2018

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Rockets were fired from Gaza after Israeli artillery strikes killed three Palestinians.
Israel on Thursday intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza, its military said, a day after strikes killed three Palestinians.

An army statement said nine rocket launches were identified overnight. One was intercepted and the rest landed in open fields in southern Israel.

A day earlier, Israeli artillery strikes targeted an area east of Gaza City, hitting Hamas positions.

Israel said it was in response to sniper fire at troops on the border that moderately wounded an Israeli officer.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip, said the three killed men were members of the Islamist organisation's armed forces.

The cross-border exchange took place a few days after Gaza's Hamas rulers agreed to a ceasefire with Israel to prevent weekend hostilities from escalating.

The Israel-Gaza border has seen an escalation in violence in recent weeks, following months of weekly protests demanding the right for Palestinians to return to their homeland and protests against the crippling blockade on the enclave.

At least 149 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire since the protests began on 30 March.

On Friday an Israeli soldier was shot dead, which saw a fierce wave of Israeli bombing on Gaza sparking fears of another war between the two sides.

An UN-brokered ceasefire was launched later on Friday, which Israel broke shortly after.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008, the last in 2014, which left at least 2,220 dead the vast majority Palestinian civilians.

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