Israeli launches massive air raid on Gaza - IDF

Lester Mason
July 21, 2018

He said they would be returned only as part of a deal similar to that in 2011 under which captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinians jailed in Israel.

Israeli Defense Forces unleashed an air-barrage against targets in the Gaza Strip Friday evening; destroying multiple installations following a "serious shooting incident" against Israeli soldiers operating in the region. It added that "Hamas chose to escalate the security situation and will bear the consequences for its actions".

Four Palestinians were also killed by Israeli fire Friday, including three Hamas militants, during the Israeli retaliatory bombardment.

Israel has said it is defending its sovereign border. It later said "fighter jets commenced a wide-scale attack against Hamas military targets throughout the Gaza Strip".

In recent weeks, Palestinians have shifted their focus to sending to burning kites and helium balloons over the Israeli border fence and into the farmland beyond.

The soldier was killed during "operational activity near the southern Gaza Strip", they said. "Right NOW! Those who want to provoke Palestinians and Israelis into another war must not succeed".

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According to Or Heller of Channel 10, sniper fire was directed at IDF soldiers who were securing the border at the time.

More than 140 Palestinians have been killed, including one this Friday, and thousands injured in violent clashes with Israel's military during the weekly demonstrations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with military brass Friday night to assess the developments, media reported.

Two Palestinian teenagers were killed and about 200 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel from Gaza.

Khalil al-Hayya, a top Hamas leader, said: "The protests will remain, flaming and existing, and its tools will multiply and diversify, including kites, until our goals are achieved".

The blockade has caused widespread economic hardship for many Palestinians.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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