After deadly protests, rockets fly and Israel strikes Gaza

Oct 27, 2018, 13:29
After deadly protests, rockets fly and Israel strikes Gaza

"The IDF holds Hamas responsible for everything that transpires in and emanates from the Gaza Strip and it will bear the consequences for the terror it inflicts upon Israeli civilians", the military said in a statement.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more wounded by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone since such rallies began on March 30.

"The rockets that were launched against Israel. we know that the orders, incentives were given from Damascus with the clear involvement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force", army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said on Saturday, referring to Iran' foreign operations unit.

The Israeli strikes hit three sites belonging to Hamas, the militant Islamist rulers of Gaza, with no immediate reports of injuries. Loay Qarouti of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command said the mediators asked them "to protect the lives of protesters and minimize losses among them".

The Israeli army said some suspects briefly crossed the fence.

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GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: The Israeli army accused the Syrian government on Saturday of ordering Palestinian militants in Gaza supported by Iran to fire dozens of rockets into southern Israel, and threatened to retaliate wherever it chose.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008 and much of the worldwide community considers the Islamist movement a terrorist organisation.

The armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the second largest militant group in Gaza, threatened to continue the rocket fire on Saturday.

Palestinians gather at the Israel-Gaza fence during a protest calling for lifting the blockade on Gaza, in Gaza, October 26, 2018.

Israel has come under heavy global criticism for what many see as excessive use of force and the large number of unarmed people who have been shot.

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The Palestinian Ministry of Health says four Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces during the clashes.

The majority have died during protests, while smaller numbers have been killed by airstrikes and tank fire.

Dozens were also injured by tear gas fired by Israeli forces towards the demonstrators participating in the protests, which were held for the 31st week in a row. One Israeli soldier has been killed in the border area over the same period.

Hamas officials denied a deal had been struck but confirmed to AFP that progress was being made.

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