Saturday, September 21, 2019

Continuing violence - three Palestinians killed in northern Gaza


By F.F. Dawkins - August 20, 2019
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza]

At least three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the north of the Gaza Strip, adjacent to the Israel-Gaza barrier, on Sunday 18 August during an overnight attack.

According to a statement from the Palestinian Health Ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qidra, three dead bodies and one heavily injured person had been brought the Al Andalusi hospital.

According to Al Jazeera, medics said that Israeli forces only allowed Palestinian ambulances to enter the area hours after the attacks.

The Israeli Defence Forces issued a statement on Saturday, explaining that a helicopter and tank were shooting at “armed suspects” close to the fence. The army furthermore released video material, showing three figures walking between trees adjacent to an Israeli military outpost.

Hamas condemned the killing of the three Palestinians, and according to Al Jazeera, said that two of the three killed men were members of Islamic Jihad and one of Hamas. Sources within Hamas stated that the men were “in some kind of freelance individual operation".

Only one week earlier, the IDF killed four Palestinians alongside the Israel-Gaza boundary fence. The IDF stated that the attacked Palestinians “were equipped with AK-47 assault rifles, RPG grenade launchers and hand grenades”.

Furthermore, the IDF explained that they opened fire after “one of the terrorists scaled the barrier and hurled a grenade at the soldiers.”

Since the outbreak of regular protests and clashes in Gaza, which started in March 2018, over 300 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza or adjacent to the boundary area.

Additionally, to the recent boundary shootings, the Israeli army has launched on Saturday morning, 17 August, a new series of airstrikes on different locations of Hamas in Gaza.

Israeli army officials stated that the airstrikes were carried out in retaliation to three rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli territory. Two of the three rockets have been eliminated by the air-defence system, Iron Dome, causing no casualties or injuries on Israeli ground.  

IDF spokesperson further confirmed that the air attacks were aimed at two Hamas underground infrastructures in northern and central Gaza.

Hamas spokesperson, Fawzi Barhoum, claimed that the airstrikes were carried out by the IDF in order to “distract from the acts of heroism in the West Bank, which have confused the calculations of the enemy and deepened its internal crises.”

Barhoum was referring to recent stabbing and car-ramming attacks in the West Bank, which targeted an Israeli teenager.

The latest attacks and shootings severely threaten the already fragile informal cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel.

 

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