Israeli soldier and four Palestinians killed in Gaza escalation

21 July, 2018, 16:43 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • A fireball explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli bombardment July 20

The Israeli Defence Forces said it had launched a large attack on Hamas military targets on the Gaza Strip following "a severe shooting attack against IDF soldiers this afternoon".

"We reached [an agreement] to return to the previous state of calm between the [Israeli] occupation and the Palestinian factions", Barhoum said.

Three Hamas fighters were killed as Israeli forces unleashed a wave of deadly strikes across the Gaza Strip, targeting 60 sites in 3 Hamas battalion compounds, according to an Israeli military spokesperson.

The soldier was the first member of Israel's army to be killed on the Gaza front since a 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, a military spokesman said.

An Israeli army statement said shots were fired at troops during renewed protests along the Gaza-Israel frontier and "in response. aircraft and tanks targeted military targets throughout the Gaza Strip".

Palestinian brother (1st-R) of Mohammed Badwan mourns during his funeral in Gaza City on July 21, 2018.

A Ma'an reporter said that Israeli forces also opened fire at the fishermen forcing them to head back to shore. Efforts to broker a cease-fire have stumbled over the Palestinians' continuing practice of launching fire-carrying kites and balloons from Gaza into Israel.

At least 147 Palestinians have been killed since the Great Return March protests broke out on 30 March. Israel and Hamas have fought three such wars over the past decade and Hamas agreed to the second such cease-fire in a week under heavy Egyptian and worldwide pressure.


It's all up to Hamas", begins, "At the end of a productive six-day trip to the region recently, one reality was painfully clear: "The nightmare of Hamas's leadership is continuing and needlessly prolonging the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza".

The protests are partly meant to draw attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

The Gaza Health Ministry said 80 Palestinians were wounded by gunfire in that rally.

Following the clashes, the U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process called on all sides to "step back from the brink" of war.

"Any reasonable person who sees the... farmland that has been scorched [by incendiary kites and balloons] understands the intolerable nature of the situation", he told a group of Israelis living near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

The violence came during another Friday of protests by Palestinians at the border between Israel and the Gaza strip.

The blockade has caused widespread economic hardship for many Palestinians.

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