Sunday, October 24, 2021

Israel tank fire hits Hamas post in response to gunfire

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Israelie tank. PHOTO: The Times of Israel

Israeli tank fire hit a Hamas post in the Gaza Strip on Sunday after gunfire from the Palestinian enclave struck a military vehicle, with no injuries reported on either side, officials said.

The Israeli army said in a statement it targeted a Hamas post in the southern Gaza Strip in response to the gunfire, without providing further details.

Hamas’s interior ministry confirmed the post had been hit in the area of Al-Fukhari near the border with Israel, but it alleged Israeli tanks and bulldozers had earlier crossed the border.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she could not confirm the claim.

Palestinian militants in Gaza, run by Islamist movement Hamas, and Israel have fought three wars since 2008.

The border has remained relatively calm recently, though violent flare-ups continue to occur.

Such flare-ups have included rocket fire from militants in Gaza, with Israel usually responding with air strikes.

Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade for around a decade, which Israel says is necessary to prevent Hamas from importing weapons or materials used to make them.

Israel is particularly concerned with Hamas tunnels that have been used to carry out attacks against it.

UN officials however call for a complete lifting of the blockade, warning of deteriorating conditions in the impoverished territory of two million people.

Hamas also remains divided from Fatah, the party of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, which dominates the Palestinian Authority based in the occupied West Bank.

There have been a series of protests against Hamas by Gazans in recent days over electricity shortages.

Fatah media have accused Hamas of carrying out dozens of arrests, and Hamas supporters held a counter rally blaming Abbas for the power crisis.

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