Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Israeli warplanes hit southern Gaza after sniper fire


Israeli fighter jets carried out an air strike in southern Gaza on Wednesday and killed a Hamas militant after a sniper attack on a patrol seriously wounded a soldier, the army and medics said.

The Israeli military said on a twitter statement that “sniper fire was opened on an IDF routine patrol near the southern Gaza Strip.”

“Following the sniper attack on the #Gaza border, IDF air & ground forces responded immediately to the threat. More details to come,” the statement added.

It was only the second time Israel had struck Gaza since a 50-day war ended with a truce on August 26, after witnesses reported a first strike early on Saturday.

Palestinian medical sources said the incident had taken place east of the southern city of Khan Yunis with Tayseer al-Ismary, 33, killed “as a result of gunfire and shrapnel from a tank shell.”

Hamas sources said he was a member of its military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner denounced the attack.

“Hamas sniper attack is an outrageous act of aggression. IDF will continue to protect its forces and the border area,” he wrote on Twitter, noting that the military had instructed Gazan farmers to keep away from the border area “for their own safety.”

Hamas blamed Israel. more

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