Jerusalem BLASTS TARGETS in Gaza After 'Shooting Incident — ISRAEL UNLEASHED

Illustrative. Tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces land amid Palestinians during clashes along the border with Israel east of Gaza City

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".

Israel's government initially saw the airborne tools of arson as a novel irritant and a less unsafe alternative to the rockets often fired by Hamas and other Islamist factions in Gaza. The fourth was a civilian, local residents and medics said.

Palestinians also pointed out that blaming exclusively Hamas - which has governed Gaza since 2007 - for the besieged territory's problems is "disingenuous", while absolving Israel's role in perpetuating the suffering of the people of Gaza. Gaza media reported that gunmen had fired mortars toward the border.

As a result of the continuous airstrikes and heavy use of live ammunition by the Israeli forces, it has been estimated that about 120 Palestinians have been injured in various areas of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians have now been protesting at the border for 17 weeks. The clashes have so far left at least 140 Palestinian protesters dead and some 16-thousand others wounded.

Israel says Hamas has been orchestrating the demonstrations to provide cover for militants' cross-border attacks.


On Friday, Hamas vowed to continue its protests and the launching of incendiary devices towards Israel. "In the face of Zionist threats, we say the resistance will continue, the marches will continue and its tools will continue to vary and take different forms, including the kites", he said. It added that "Hamas chose to escalate the security situation and will bear the consequences for its actions". "Responsibility will fall entirely on Hamas's shoulders, but I'm sorry to say that ordinary Gazans will have to pay the price".

The soldier was killed during "operational activity near the southern Gaza Strip", they said.

He said they would be returned only as part of a deal similar to that in 2011 under which captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinians jailed in Israel.

"Your soldiers are still in our hands".

A former senior American official, however, said he does not see a solution on the horizon given the wide gulf between the positions of Hamas and Israel.

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