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Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza

The Israeli airstrikes targeted Hamas sites in the besieged enclave [File Photo: Getty]

Date of publication: 10 March, 2019

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Israeli authorities confirmed aircraft struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early on Sunday, in response to rocket-fire from the Palestinian enclave.
Israeli aircraft struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early on Sunday, in response to rocket-fire from the Palestinian enclave, the army said.

"Fighter jets and aircraft struck several military targets in a Hamas compound in the northern Gaza Strip in addition to two Hamas vessels," a statement from the army said.

The attacks were in response to a rocket fired from Gaza late on Saturday that "in addition to the continued violence emanating from the Gaza Strip," the army said.

The rocket hit an open field in Israel's Eshkol region, causing no casualties or damages.

At times balloons with incendiary and explosive devices have been launched across the border fence, which have caused minor damage to Israeli crops.

On Saturday, Israeli forces said they had launched several strikes against Hamas sites in Gaza in response to a projectile launched from the coastal enclave the night before.

On Thursday, a Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border, Gaza’s health ministry said, following protests on the besieged enclave’s border.

Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said Saif al-Deen Abu Zeid, 15, was shot on the Gaza border and died "due to wounds sustained east of Gaza (City)”.

The weekly protests, dubbed the "Great Return March", have been taking place for nearly a year. Palestinians have gathered along the Gaza border fence for non-violent marches to demand an end to the Israeli siege on Gaza and the right for Palestinians to return to their homes lost since Israel's creation in 1948.

At least 253 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the majority shot during weekly border protests and others hit by tank fire or airstrikes.

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.

The increase in violence has raised fears a fragile truce agreed in November between Israel and Hamas could collapse, with both sides accusing the other of breaching the terms of the informal agreement.

The informal truce, under which Israel would allow Qatari aid to enter Gaza in exchange for calm on the border, was struck in November.

The United Nations accused Israel last week of committing "crimes against humanity" after killing hundreds of Palestinians, including children, when retaliating to largely peaceful protests in the besieged Gaza strip.

Israel and Hamas, which has controlled the blockaded Gaza Strip for over a decade, have fought three wars since 2008.

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