Death toll mounts as Israel resumes Gaza strikes
Five Palestinians were killed in two Israeli strikes on Gaza on Saturday, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra tolf Agence France-Presse.
Two people were killed in a strike that “targeted a motorbike in the Al-Maghazi camp” and another three bodies were pulled from the rubble “of the al-Qassam mosque that was bombed by planes” in the Nuseirat camp, Qudra said.
Hamas also fired several rockets at Israel in a second day of violence since a failure to extend an Egyptian-mediated truce that halted a month-long war earlier this week. The Islamist group vowed there would be no concessions to Israel, defying international attempts to broker a new ceasefire after fighting resumed.
The Israeli military said that since midnight it had attacked more than 20 sites in the coastal enclave where Hamas Islamists are dominant, without specifying the targets.
One of those killed was a man, whose body found beneath the rubble of one of three mosques that were bombed. The air strikes which lasted through the night also bombed three houses, and fighter planes also strafed open areas, they said.
Clashes in West Bank
Meanwhile, violence also picked up in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian territory where President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement holds sway, where a Palestinian man, 43, died of a gunshot wound to the chest from a confrontation with Israeli soldiers in the city of Hebron, medical officials said.
Israeli troops shot and killed another Palestinian man, 20, on Friday at a protest near a Jewish settlement outside Ramallah, Israeli military officials said.
A Palestinian medic told Agence France-Presse that Nader Edriss died “from his wounds at Hebron’s Al-Mizan hospital.”
Medical officials added that another 29-year-old man was hit by bullets and dozens of other demonstrators were also injured.
Earlier on Friday, a 19-year-old Palestinian died in clashes near the Israeli settlement of Psagot, between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
The Israeli army, whose warplanes on Friday pounded targets across Gaza – killing at least five Palestinians – said that 300 protesters attacked soldiers with burning tires, incendiary devices and stones in Friday’s demonstration.
“Soldiers responded by firing anti-riot weapons”, including rifles, an army spokeswoman told AFP.
Protests were also held Friday afternoon in the West Bank towns of Nablus and Bethlehem, but no one was hurt.