Gaza gunmen fire at Israeli troops, army tank hits Hamas post in response
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Gaza gunmen fire at Israeli troops, army tank hits Hamas post in response

No Israeli casualties in incident in southern Gaza; military spokeswoman notes incident occurred in area of recurrent protest violence

An IDF tank is seen near the border with Gaza on April 13, 2018 (Sliman Khader/Flash90)
An IDF tank is seen near the border with Gaza on April 13, 2018 (Sliman Khader/Flash90)

The Israeli military on Tuesday evening said it fired tank shells at a Hamas post in the southern Gaza Strip, after gunmen opened fire at Israeli troops operating near the border.

There were no Israeli casualties in the incident.

A military spokeswoman noted that the incident occurred in an area which has seen recurrent violence during recent weeks’ protests near the border.

The Israeli military regularly strikes Hamas positions in response to attacks emanating from Gaza, saying it holds the terror group that controls the Strip responsible for any violence.

Tensions have been high over recent weeks with thousands of Palestinians clashing with Israeli troops on the border for three consecutive Fridays.

Last Friday, at least 10,000 Gazans took part in large-scale demonstrations, with the Israeli military saying protesters hurled an explosive device and firebombs at Israeli troops deployed at the border, as well as making “several attempts” to damage the fence between Israel and Gaza and cross over into Israeli territory.

Illustrative: Palestinians burn tires at the border fence with Israel, east of Jabalia in the central Gaza city, during a protest on April 13, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED)

Protesters torched tires and burned large Israeli flags, as well as posters of Israel’s prime minister and defense minister. Large plumes of black smoke from burning tires rose into the sky. They also burned pictures of US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The previous Friday, about 20,000 Palestinians took part in the demonstrations, with the previous week attracting an estimated 30,000.

More than 30 Palestinians have been killed in the clashes over the part three weeks, according to Hamas-run health authorities. Hamas has acknowledged that several of those killed were its members, and Israel has identified other fatalities as members of terrorist groups.

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