Four Palestinians, including three “fighters” of the Islamist Hamas movement, were killed on Friday by the Israeli army, which carried out intense bombing in the Palestinian enclave in response, she said, to “firing” at its soldiers near the border.
This bout of fever comes as new demonstrations have taken place at Israel’s security fence in Gaza to protest Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory.
Airplanes and tanks bombarded “military targets throughout the Gaza Strip” in response to “shootings” of Israeli troops near the border, the Israeli army said, accusing Hamas of choosing ‘climbing”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attending an emergency meeting at the Ministry of Defense on Friday night, Israeli media said. His spokesperson was not immediately reachable to confirm.
The Gaza Ministry of Health said two Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops near Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip. Security sources said they died in an attack on a Hamas observation post.
A third Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces in Rafah, also in the southern Gaza Strip, the ministry added.
The military wing of Hamas said in a statement that these three Palestinians were “combatants” members of this organization.
A fourth Palestinian was killed by Israeli soldiers near the border area east of Gaza City, according to the Gazan Health Ministry.
Gunfire against Israeli soldiers took place during “violent riots along the security fence,” which marks the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the army said.
Since March 30, Palestinians have regularly demonstrated in the border area to denounce the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza and demand the return of Palestinian refugees who fled or fled their lands in 1948 when the State of Israel was created.
At least 149 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army and more than 4,000 have been shot since that date. No Israeli was killed.
Threats of war
But Israel is particularly angry lately kites and incendiary balloons launched by some protesters from Gaza who fired, according to him, to more than 2600 hectares on the Israeli territory, according to the State Hebrew. In recent days, the Israeli army has opened fire at groups launching such devices.
Last weekend, Israel and Hamas had their biggest confrontation since the war that pitted them in 2014.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has increased in recent days the threat of a large-scale operation in the Gaza Strip if Hamas did not stop the launch of kites or incendiary balloons.
Israel and Hamas have clashed in three wars since 2008 that devastated the enclave, which is now experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis.
Israeli television broadcast this week footage of army maneuvers training for a land incursion into the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also conducted an inspection tour this week in the border region for the first time since the start of the clashes.
Government officials such as Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Homeland Security Minister Gilad Erdan have called for systematic attacks on kite launchers as “terrorists”.
In response to these fiery kites and balloons, Israel has further reinforced this week the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Defense Ministry has suspended oil and gas deliveries via Kerem Shalom until Sunday, the only crossing point for goods between Israel and the Palestinian territory.
Last week, Israel had already announced the closure of this crossing point for a number of goods, Hamas controlling the Palestinian enclave denouncing a “crime against humanity”.
Israel has also reduced the sea area open to fishermen in Gaza.
For more than a decade, the Gaza Strip, wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean, has been subjected to a strict Israeli land, sea and air blockade.
The strengthening of the blockade is intensifying pressure on Hamas in a territory where some 80 percent of the two million people depend on aid, according to the World Bank.