Israeli soldier, three Palestinian militants, protester killed in Gaza escalation

Israeli soldier, three Palestinian militants, protester killed in Gaza escalation

The mother of a Palestinian who was killed by Israeli troops east of Khan Younis, reacts at hospital in Gaza Strip<img alt=”The mother of a Palestinian who was killed by Israeli troops east of Khan Younis, reacts at hospital in Gaza Strip” class=”StretchedBox W(100%) H(100%) ie-7_H(a)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/A.kbnlWCnL1NW_oPcE.x1w–~A/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9NDUwO2g9Mjk0O2lsPXBsYW5l/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/Reuters/2018-07-20T170654Z_1_LYNXMPEE6J1FD_RTROPTP_2_ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS.JPG.cf.jpg” itemprop=”url”/>

The mother of a Palestinian who was killed by Israeli troops east of Khan Younis, reacts at hospital in Gaza Strip July 20, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli soldier along the Gaza border on Friday, said the Israeli military, which launched dozens of strikes into Gaza that killed four Palestinians, including three Hamas fighters.

The soldier was the first to be killed on the Gaza front in active duty since a 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, an Israeli army spokesman said. He was on “operational activity” when he and colleagues came under fire, the military said.

At least four Palestinians were killed in later Israeli strikes, according to Palestinian medical officials. Hamas, the armed Islamist movement which controls Gaza, said three of the dead were its fighters. The fourth was a protester, local residents and medics said. At least 120 Gazans were wounded.

Egyptian security officials and a diplomat from another unnamed state were holding contacts with Hamas and Israel in an effort to restore calm and prevent further deterioration, a Palestinian official told Reuters. Gaza was relatively quiet after midnight, residents said.

A Palestinian official said: “Egypt has managed to restore calm through talks with the two sides in Israel and in Gaza … We hope it lasts.”

Israel said its aircraft and tanks had struck dozens of targets belonging to Hamas and across the Gaza Strip, including a drone warehouse, aerial defense systems and observation posts.

“The event that happened today is something that we cannot tolerate and cannot allow to become a routine norm, that’s why we retaliated and that’s why we continue to target military targets belonging to Hamas,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held emergency discussions with cabinet colleagues and military chiefs about the escalation, which follows four months of Palestinian border protests.

After dark on Friday, the Israeli military said that Gaza militants had launched three rockets into Israel, of which two were intercepted by its Iron Dome defense system.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a statement after holding a phone conversation with Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations’ envoy to the region.

“If Hamas continues with rocket launches, the results will be far more severe than they can imagine. Responsibility for the destruction and for human life will be on Hamas,” a statement quoted Lieberman as saying.

Mladenov said on Twitter that “Everyone in Gaza needs to step back from the brink. Not next week. Not tomorrow. Right NOW! Those who want to provoke Palestinians and Israelis into another war must not succeed.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who holds little sway over Hamas, called for international intervention to prevent an escalation of the violence, his office said.

KITE ATTACKS

Earlier, Hamas defied Lieberman’s calls to stop launching incendiary balloons from the coastal enclave and he threatened to order a military offensive to prevent them.

Fires caused by kites and helium-filled balloons have ravaged farmland in Israel in recent months.

The tactic has become popular during the months-long Gaza border protests known as ‘The Great March of Return’, in which Israeli security forces have killed more than 140 Palestinians.

Palestinians are protesting to demand the right to return to homes and villages they fled or were driven from during the conflict surrounding the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948. But more recently some Gaza officials said the protests would end if Israel lifted an economic blockade of the Strip.

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

Khalil Al-Hayya, Hamas’s deputy chief in Gaza, said the kites would continue to fly. “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.

Hayya also said on Friday that Hamas was holding two Israeli soldiers that Israel had declared killed in action during a 2014 war in Gaza.

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 … The occupation (Israel) will not see them until they pay the price, just like they did for Shalit,” Hayya said.

(This version of the story corrects nationality of the official in paragraph 5 from Egyptian to Palestinian)

(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by David Stamp and James Dalgleish)

4 responses to “Israeli soldier, three Palestinian militants, protester killed in Gaza escalation

  1. williamjamesward

    Land for peace does not seem to have worked out to well, as a matter
    of fact all of the warnings of the turning Gaza into a weapons platform
    to attack Israel have come true. Thank leftist politicians, the end game
    of their endeavors is always loss and increased tribulation………William

    Liked by 2 people

  2. While this article provided more details about the war Hamas is waging against Israel, I need to correct one misleading term used repeatedly. The attackers from Gaza trying to break the border fence and enter, are not “protesters”. They are mostly Hamas terrorists who have said their goal is to enter Israel and murder Israelis. They use a variety of weapons, and now seem to have moved on to guns. They also send in incendiary kites and balloons which have burned thousands of acres of Israeli land. Some of the balloons are even reaching Jerusalem neighborhoods. The world seems more sympathetic to the Hamas terrorists than innocent Israelis. We in Israel cannot fathom why this is so. It has caused the war to drag on for months, and it seems Israel needs the world’s permission to do any damage to Hamas, which should be destroyed. Any moral support and prayers for the IDF would be very welcome.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Freedom Rider

      Excellent observation Cathy. We here in he US wonder at the same thing. It is the LEFTIST CONTROLLED PRESS. If and until balance in our media is restored we will be confronted with lies and half-truths to suit the NWO agenda… FR

      Liked by 1 person

    • williamjamesward

      Hamas and the PLO must be destroyed, they keep their people in
      a prison of thought that is subhuman and evil and kill all that may
      dissent. Israel must take on the true charachter of their strength
      and righteous standing with the good in the World. A great day is
      coming and the Mesiah will end any doubt of who is in the right.
      Jesus is our greatest hope and blessing………………William

      Liked by 1 person

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