First Published: 2018-03-15

Israel attacks Hamas posts in Gaza
Security source from Hamas says one Israeli round hit an observation post near the border, causing damage but no casualties.
Middle East Online

Palestinians inspect site of an Israeli air strike in Gaza City.

TEL AVIV - Israel hit Hamas posts in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after Palestinians set off two bombs near the border fence, authorities said, with no casualties reported.

Israel's military also said it suspected based on surveillance video there was "an attempt" to fire rocket-propelled grenades toward its forces, but nothing was hit.

If confirmed, it would be the first time such weapons were used by Gaza militants against Israeli forces since a 2014 war, army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said.

A security source from Hamas, the Islamist movement which runs the Gaza Strip, said that one Israeli round hit an observation post near the border, causing damage but no casualties.

He said that earlier, shortly after sunrise, there were explosions near the border. Israel said two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were detonated some 100 metres away from the fence on the Gaza side.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts and Israel said it could not say who was behind it, though it held Hamas responsible as the de facto power in the Palestinian enclave.

Israel said the IEDs were detonated "toward" soldiers in a vehicle on the Israeli side of the fence near the northeastern Gaza Strip at around 6:00 am.

"It appears that there was also an attempt to fire RPG rockets toward the force," Conricus said.

"We don't have the final confirmation of that yet, but that is currently our working assumption."

Israel's army then hit what it said were four military positions in the strip belonging to Hamas and Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad with tank fire and another with air power, Conricus said.

Israel also warned Hamas not to use civilian protests that occur near the border fence as cover to carry out attacks against its forces.

Beginning on March 30, Gazans are planning to erect hundreds of tents near the Israeli border for a six-week show of support for Palestinian refugees.

On February 17, four Israeli soldiers were wounded by an improvised explosive device on the border, sparking intense military retaliation.

Israel warplanes attacked 18 "terror targets belonging to Hamas" in Gaza in response to the blast, which severely wounded two of the soldiers, and a subsequent Palestinian rocket attack on southern Israel.

The following day, Israeli occupation forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers near the border, Gaza medical sources said.

The Israeli army said at the time that soldiers fired "warning shots" at a number of Palestinians approaching the border fence "in a suspicious manner" but could not confirm Palestinian casualties.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008. The strip has been under an Israeli blockade for around a decade.

 

Nine people killed in Toronto van attack

Yemen Huthi political leader killed in coalition raid

Iran, Israel trade blame for surge in hostilities over Syria

HRW warns Egypt fight against IS threatens humanitarian crisis

Can Arab satellite TV catch up with social media?

Syria security chief refuses Lebanon court appearance

Air raid kills dozens at Yemen wedding

Algeria draws Europe’s ire by cutting imports, boosting trade with China

Russia says no decision yet on delivery of S-300 missiles to Syria

French MPs adopt controversial immigration bill

Qatar Airways ‘robust’ despite large losses

IS threatens to attack Iraqi polling station

Jordan sounds the alarm over rising online crimes

Yemen forces clash with jihadists in Taez

Paris attacks suspect gets 20 years over Brussels shootout

Jailed Egyptian photographer wins UN press freedom prize

14 Saddam-era officials still jailed in Iraq

Gaza death toll rises to 40 as Palestinian dies of wounds

HRW says African migrants face rape, torture in Yemen

Four British pilgrims killed in Saudi road crash

Iran vows to resume enrichment if US quits nuclear deal

UAE accuses Qatari jets of ‘chasing’ passenger flight

Israel rubbishes claims Mossad behind Malaysia assassination

Syrian refugees are not going home anytime soon

Resumption of direct flights from Moscow brings hope to Egypt’s tourism sector

Saudi finalises drone regulation after security alarm

Will Lebanon have more women MPs after May 6 poll?

Saudi shoots down ‘toy drone’

Mass grave discovered under Raqa football pitch

UN Security Council meets over Syria in Sweden

Turkish government rejects criticism of election campaign

Condemnation after Gaza teenager killed by Israeli soldiers

Syrian rebels agree to leave new area outside Damascus

Rouhani slams officials' 'vow of silence' in face of protests

Family accuses Israel of killing Palestinian in Malaysia

Natalie Portman says backed out of Israel prize over Netanyahu

Morocco, EU start talks on new fisheries deal

FIFA to return to Morocco to check hotels, stadiums

Turkey in shock after violent Istanbul derby

Iraq pays first war reparations to Kuwait since 2014

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy

Western strikes on Syria bring no change whatsoever

Trump criticises OPEC for high oil prices

Syria says rebels south of capital surrender