Residents inspect the damage at the Nur Shams refugee camp after the raids. Pic/AP
Israeli airstrikes hit a militant site in Gaza on Saturday for the second time in as many days, the Israeli army said, after Palestinian militants sent incendiary balloons into Israeli farmland and Palestinian protesters threw stones and explosives at soldiers at the separation fence.
There were no reported casualties from the strikes in Gaza. Earlier on Saturday, the Israeli military shot and wounded three Palestinians who were rallying at the separation fence along the Israeli frontier with the crowded enclave. It's a familiar tactic for Palestinians in Gaza protesting a 16-year blockade imposed by Israel with Egypt's help. Israel says the blockade is needed to prevent the ruling Hamas militant group from arming itself.
It was the latest in a series of violent protests over the past week that has raised the specter of an escalation for the first time since a brief round of conflict last May between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group. It comes at a fraught time, just before the Sukkot festival in Israel next week.
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The Israeli army said on Saturday it had targeted a post belonging to the territory's militant Hamas rulers near the separation fence in eastern Gaza where dozens of Palestinians had protested. Hamas-linked media outlets posted photos of militants sending a barrage of balloons attached to incendiary devices over the border from eastern Khan Younis, one of the biggest cities in the strip.
Two Palestinians were killed during an Israeli military raid on Sunday in the northern West Bank, Palestinian health officials said. The Israeli military said it moved into the Nour Shams refugee camp, near the town of Tulkarem, to destroy a militant command center and bomb-storage facility in a building. It said engineering units detonated a number of bombs planted under roads while militants opened fire and hurled explosives at the troops.
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