An Israeli rocket is fired into the northern Gaza Strip July 17, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An IDF spokesperson confirmed overnight on Friday that three Israeli soldiers were injured by armed gunmen in northern Gaza. They were evacuated to an Israeli hospital for medical treatment. Two of the soldiers were lightly injured, while the third was severely injured.
Since the start of the IDF ground incursion, the army said it killed over 40 terrorists and arrested 21 others. The army said that Palestinians fired mortars at troops in the southern Gaza Strip. In response, IAF aircraft struck at the source of the shooting.
The IDF suffered its first casualty in Operation Protective Edge on Friday as the army commenced its ground offensive into Gaza. Two more soldiers were lightly wounded.
On the other side of conflict, Palestinians sources reported that more than 60 Palestinians, at least 15 under the age of 18, have been killed since Israel
began its ground offensive on Thursday night.
Overnight on Friday, Palestinians were reporting casualties in northern Gaza, with seven killed by Israeli strikes in Khan Younis, and two others in other northern districts.
Reuters reported that Arabs in Bethlehem clashed with Israeli soldiers, when the West Bank residents threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the troops. The IDF force responded with tear gas until Palestinian Authority police forces stepped in to push back protesters.
In Hebron, pro-Hamas demonstrators marched peacefully in support of Hamas' battles against Israeli troops in Gaza, even as Israel warned it could "significantly widen" a Gaza land offensive but was cautioned by its main ally, the United States, about the risks of further escalation as Palestinian civilian deaths mounted.