A Palestinian has been killed in an Israeli air raid on the northern Gaza Strip, according to Gaza’s health ministry, amid a fresh escalation between Israel’s military and Gaza fighters.
Imad Nseir, 22, was killed in Beit Hanoun after Israeli warplanes targeted multiple areas in the beseiged enclave on Saturday morning after dozens of rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel.
The latest flare-up comes after Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in two separate incidents on Friday.
Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from Jerusalem, said the barrage of rockets fired from Gaza came after an Israeli drone strike in the north of the strip early on Saturday, which injured three people.
“We are looking at another military escalation, the first since last month’s in which we saw another exchange of air strikes and rocket fire out of Gaza, which seemed to end with some hopes towards some kind of longer-term resolution,” he said.
“There was a good deal of reporting about talks between Israel and Hamas mediated by Egypt with further relaxing of the situation likely to happen from the Israeli side,” he continued.
“Hamas says so far all they have seen is the relaxation in the martime controls allowing fishing out to 15 nautical miles from six, which has now been reduced again.”
The Iron Dome missile system intercepted dozens of projectiles, the Israeli army said, adding that about 90 rockets were fired from the strip. No casualties were reported on the Israeli side, the army said.
According to Palestinian news agencies, Israeli warplanes targeted an agricultural area in Beit Hanoun, a northern town in the strip, with multiple air raids following the rocket fire.
Israeli forces at the fence with Gaza also shelled several monitoring outposts east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
Gaza health officials also said four Palestinians were wounded in one of the Israeli raids.
|The Iron Dome system intercepted rockets above Ashkelon [Amir Cohen/Reuters]|
|Israelis look on as the anti-missile system intercepted rockets over Ashkelon [Amir Cohen/Reuters]|
Sirens went off in the Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, and the nearby Zikim beach, located two kilometres north of the Gaza Strip, was also closed off.
|Municipality workers told beach goers to leave following rocket fire in Ashkelon [Amir Cohen/Reuters]|
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire from Gaza.
According to the Palestinian Information Center, Hamas spokesperson Abdullatif Al-Qanou’ said: “The resistance will remain present to respond to the crimes of the occupation, and will not allow it to shed the blood of our people.”
The Islamic Jihad movement also released a similar statement, saying “the resistance is doing its duty to protect and defend our people”, adding that it will “respond to the [Israeli] aggression to the fullest extent.”
Meanwhile, the Fatah movement in the occupied West Bank has condemned the escalation on the Gaza Strip and called on the international community to “curb the aggression.”
أحد صواريخ المقاومة التي سقطت على طريق 4 في “أشكلون”. pic.twitter.com/OLwr4bS87w
— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) May 4, 2019
On Friday, four Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in two separate incidents; two of them were shot dead during the weekly Great March of Return protests near the Israeli fence east of Gaza, while an air raid targeting a Hamas outpost killed two members of the movement’s armed wing.
|Raed Abu Tair was killed during a protest at the fence on Friday [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]|
The Israeli army said it had hit the Hamas base after two of its soldiers were injured at the Israeli fence east of Gaza.
In an attempt to diffuse an escalation between Israel and Hamas, Egypt had summoned senior figures from Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad movement on Friday to its capital Cairo.