Israel kills two Hamas gunmen in Gaza, sides dispute circumstances
09 August, 2018, 22:52 | Author: Sheila Harris
Hamas's military wing, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, confirmed two of its members were killed, but said the border post was hit during an "exhibition" by a naval commando unit that was being watched by several Hamas leaders.
The Israeli army said the two Palestinians "opened fire at Israeli soldiers", and published a video of the two fighters reportedly firing at soldiers, while Hamas said the allegation has no basis, as the fighters were training, and firing fixed targets.
Palestinian security sources said that the Israeli attack was in the north of the strip. The IDF said it launched the strike in response to fire coming from the Gaza Strip.
But Hamas said its fighters were taking part in a live-fire exercise and that Israel would pay for their deaths.
"The resistance can not allow the occupation to impose a policy of bombing sites and targeting fighters without paying the price", a Hamas statement said.
Tensions between Israel and Gaza have escalated since weekly border protests started on March 30, which left more than 150 Palestinians dead and 17,500 others injured, according to statistics released by the Gaza Health Ministry.
The protests call for Palestinians to be able to return to the land they or their families fled or were expelled from in the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel.
Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas have fought three wars with Israel since 2008.
The incident took place as Egypt was working to broker a cease-fire deal between Hamas and Israel.
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