Israel strikes Hamas target in Gaza, army confirms

Three Palestinians were killed when the Israeli military struck an observation post in the southern Gaza Strip after an explosive device was placed on the security fence with Israel.

According to the IDF, the observation post attacked by artillery fire east of the city of Rafah was overlooking the area where the explosive device, which was hidden in the handles of a cutting tool, was placed. The device detonated while being neutralized by a bomb disposal robot operated by IDF troops.

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Official Palestinian news agency WAFA identified two of the fatalities as 25-year-old Hussein Samir E’mour and 28-year-old Abdal-Halim Abdal-Kareem al-Naqa. The observation post was said to have been completely destroyed in the attack. Gazans bury militants killed in Israeli border shelling, May 27, 2018 (Reuters)

Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab suggested the two killed men were members of the organization.

He said the group “will not abandon our right to respond to Israel’s dangerous escalation and we know what to do to remind Zionist terrorism that the blood of our people is not cheap.”

According to WAFA, Israeli artillery also struck a site to the east of Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, resulting in significant damage to the area, but without any casualties.

These incidents come hours after the IDF also struck several Hamas targets in a military compound in the southern Gaza Strip in response to an earlier infiltration by four Palestinians who damaged the security infrastructure as well as to repeated attempts to damage security infrastructure during the violent protests along the border fence with Israel.

No casualties were reported in that strike either.

Israel considers Hamas, which rules the coastal enclave, to be responsible for any attack from the Gaza Strip.

Thousands of Palestinians have been demonstrating along the Gaza-Israel security fence since March 30 in what has been dubbed the “Great March of Return.” Palestinian Maan News Agency quoted the Gazan Health Ministry as reporting that 116 Palestinians have been killed by IDF fire and over 13,000 wounded since the violent protests began.