Nine projectiles were fired at Israel from Gaza early Thursday, the Israeli army said, following several days of violent clashes in Gaza. Most of the rockets fell in open areas close to the border. Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted one rocket, the army said. No damage or casualties were reported.
Hamas’ military wing put its forces on high alert Thursday after Wednesday’s escalation in which three Hamas militants were killed. “Israel will pay in blood for its latest crimes,” Hamas said in a statement.
An Israeli soldier was moderately wounded in clashes with Palestinian snipers at the border on Wednesday after the Israeli army said its troops tried to turn away Palestinian children who approached the border fence in southern Gaza. The officer was evacuated to a hospital for immediate medical care.
The Israeli army said it responded to the snipers by attacking a number of Hamas positions in Gaza, killing three Hamas members. Hamas’ military wing issued an official statement saying that the three killed were part of a unit to patrol border fence.
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The three have been identified as Ahmed Albasus, 28, Abada Alfarona, 29 and Mohammad Alariar, 27. One Palestinian is said to be in serious condition.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said “the scope of the deliberate Israeli attack on the fighters reveals that Israel has the intention of killing, it is impossible to sit idly by in the face of Israel’s crimes. The resistance forces will not give up their duty to respond to this aggression and defend the Palestinian people.
Following the exchange on the border Wednesday, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman convened an emergency security meeting at the military headquarters in Tel Aviv.