GAZA CITY: Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip on Friday, authorities in the enclave said, after Israel said two of its soldiers were wounded in a shooting on the border.
One of the Palestinians was shot dead during clashes along the frontier while the two others were killed in an air strike, the health ministry in Gaza said.
The Israeli army said the air strike was in retaliation for the shooting incident on the border that left its soldiers wounded.
The Gaza ministry named the men killed in the air strike as Abdullah Abu Mallouh, 33 and Alaa al-Bubli, 29, while the man killed in the clashes was 19-year-old Raid Abu Teer.
The Israeli military said it had hit a base belonging to Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas after shots were fired at its forces along the border.
The army said “one soldier was moderately injured, and another soldier was lightly injured” when they came under fire during renewed protests. An army spokeswoman said around 5,200 Palestinians had taken part in the demonstrations throughout the day.
Hamas did not immediately comment on the affiliation of the Palestinians killed but pledged to respond to what it called an “Israeli aggression.” Palestinians have been taking part in often violent demonstrations along the border for more than a year, calling on Israel to ease its crippling blockade of the strip.
At least 268 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests began in March 2018, the majority along the border. Two Israeli soldiers have been killed in that period.
Israel accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover to carry out attacks.