IDF Strikes Gaza Cells That Launched Firebombs Toward Israel; 3 Said Wounded

Palestinian reports say three were wounded in the strike, which targeted an area in the central Strip

Israeli army drone attacks an incendiary balloon fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, October 19, 2018.
\ Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The Israeli army said it struck in Gaza on Saturday afternoon, targeting cells that launched incendiary balloons toward Israel from the southern Strip. 

According to Palestinian reports, three were wounded in the first attack, which targeted an area east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. 

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Earlier Saturday, Hamas' so-called ''nighttime unit'' in the Strip announced that it will extend its activity along the border between the coastal enclave and Israel after two Palestinians were killed by live Israeli fire during the weekly demonstration on Friday. 

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Members of the unit arrive at the fence area every night, where they carry out loud demonstrations and hurl firebombs as a means to frighten and deter Israelis living in nearby communities as well as Israel Defense Forces troops stationed in the area. 

A statement released by the unit said that it will operate during the coming week throughout the border with Israel between 7 P.M. to the break of dawn.

The unit also stated that it will increase the launching of incendiary balloons toward Israel during the daytime. "Our stance is clear, either they [Israel] lift the blockade [on Gaza] or [Israeli] residents of border communities evacuate," the statement by the unit read. 

The unit said the riots are coming in response to the deaths of two Palestinian protesters who were killed during Friday's Gaza demonstration

The two were identified by Gaza's Health Ministry as Nedal Abed Alkareem Ahmed Shatat, 29, and 24-year-old Jehad Monier Khaled Harara.

Two more Palestinians were critically wounded in Friday's protest.

One of them was shot in the chest  while protesting east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, the report by the ministry said, and stated that 55 other Palestinians were wounded in the clashes thus far.