One Hamas militant was killed and two were injured after the Israel Defense Forces struck in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reports.
According to the Israeli military, an IDF tank shelled a Hamas observation post after an Israeli officer was injured from a bullet that penetrated the helmet he was wearing. The officer has been evacuated to a hospital to receive medical care.
The military further noted that troops were assaulted by open fire as well as rocks, and that the officer was the only one wounded in the attack.
The IDF is looking into the incident, which took place along the southern part of the border.
Palestinians identified the casualty as 24-year-old Mahmoud Al-Abed Al-Nabahin.
The Israeli military is holding security assessments in light of Tuesday's escalation along the Gaza border. The army is preparing for the option that Hamas would try to retaliate, but has yet to issue any special safety instructions to Israelis living in the area of the border.
The IDF sees the injury of the officer as a grave escalation, and might respond with further attacks on Hamas targets in the coming hours.
The military also said that earlier in the day, five suspects approached the border fence along the southern part of the Strip. Two of them infiltrated Israeli territory, but crossed back immediately thereafter.
Earlier Tuesday, an Israeli army tank fired a Hamas position in the northern Gaza Strip in response to shots fired at soldiers, the military said in a statement, adding that no wounded were reported on the Israeli side.
On Sunday, Qatar said that a third cash donation for impoverished Gaza civil servants will be made this week after it was held back by Israel in protest at Palestinian border violence.
Qatar in November began a six-month, $150 million program to fund civil servant wages and shipments of fuel for power generation in Gaza, offering a measure of reprieve to the blockaded enclave under the control of Islamist militant group Hamas.
At the weekly protest Friday, 14 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli live fire, Palestinian media outlets reported. Dozens of young protesters burned tires near the fence in the Khan Yunis area.
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