Israeli troops kill one more Palestinian on Gaza border - GulfToday

Israeli troops kill one more Palestinian on Gaza border

Palestinian-praying

A Palestinian activist walks away from a tear gas grenade fired by Israeli security forces in Beit Sahur on Thursday. Agence France-Presse

Israel’s military said soldiers opened fire on Thursday on a Palestinian near the Gaza border fence, and the Hamas group said one of its fighters was killed.

The last round of violence in the Gaza Strip and neighbouring southern Israel was in May, with hundreds of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli air strikes over three days.

The health ministry in Gaza, an enclave run by Hamas, said a 28-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed in Thursday’s incident near Beit Hanoun in the northern part of the territory.

An Israeli military spokesman said troops observed two gunmen approaching the Israeli-built security fence and “fired in order to drive them away.”

In a statement, Hamas’s armed wing said Israeli forces deliberately targeted a fighter “on duty” near the border.

“The occupation bears responsibility for the consequences of such a criminal act,” it said, referring to Israel.

But tensions have remained high, with Hamas accusing Israel of failing to abide by the terms - never publicly confirmed by Israeli leaders - of a truce deal to ease a blockade of Gaza.

Incendiary balloons launched from Gaza have continued to spark fires in southern Israel, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - who is running in a September election - held out the prospect on Thursday of Israeli military action.

“We are preparing for a campaign that will be broad and also surprising,” he said in Ashkelon, a southern Israeli city that has been a target of Hamas rocket attacks.

On Sunday, an 89-year-old Israeli woman, hurt while running for shelter during the fighting in May, died of her injuries, Israeli health authorities said.

Rockets and missiles fired from Gaza killed four other Israelis during those hostilities. Gaza health officials put the number of Palestinian dead at 21, saying more than half of them were civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Wednesday not to dismantle even the remotest settlement in the West Bank, in a message to settlers ahead of September’s general election.

Israeli media had speculated that after US President Donald Trump handed Netanyahu valuable political prizes by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its annexation of the Golan Heights, Trump might expect concessions in return when he finally unveils his long-awaited proposals for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“We shall not allow the dismantling of any settlement in any peace plan,” Netanyahu told an audience at the settlement of Revava in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“I also make no distinction between the settlement blocs and isolated settlement sites,” he said in Hebrew.

“Every such spot is Israeli from my point of view.” The Palestinian leadership has already rejected the US peace plan, saying that Trump’s moves so far show him to be blatantly biased in favour of Israel.

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israeli settlements are viewed as illegal under international law and major obstacles to peace since they are located on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.

The settlers are a major plank of support for Netanyahu’s right-wing government and his bid for re-election.

A Palestinian family was evicted from a home in east Jerusalem near the Old City on Wednesday after Israeli settlers won a court battle that stretched more than two decades, activists said.

The apartment in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan was home to a 53-year-old woman and her four children, according to Israeli NGO Peace Now, which opposes Israeli settlement expansion.

Police arrived and evicted the residents from the apartment and they will at least temporarily stay with relatives.

An Israeli court found that the Elad foundation, which seeks to increase the Jewish presence in mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem, had legally purchased that portion of the property and ruled in its favour.

“To take us from the house is like taking my heart from my body,” one of the Palestinian residents, Ali Siyam, 20, said.

Elad said in a statement “the property was purchased by Jewish people in accordance with the law, in good faith and in a fair and legal transaction.”

Agencies