Red alert sirens went off in Israel after rockets were fired from Gaza. (FILE PHOTO).
(photo credit: Courtesy)
An explosion was heard in Eshkol Regional council communities in southern Israel bordering the Gaza Strip after a mortar was fired from the Hamas-run coastal enclave on Friday night.
The mortar landed in an open area and caused no damage or injuries.
The rocket fire came after The IDF reinforced its Iron Dome missile defense batteries on Friday in southern Israel in anticipation of possible rocket fire from the Strip following the death of a Hamas member by IDF fire on Thursday.
The man, identified as 28 year old Mahmoud Ahmad Sabri al-Adham, was shot by troops as he approached the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip.
Hamas’ military wing stated that Adham’s death will not go “unpunished” and that Israel would “bear the consequences of this criminal act.”
“Israel intentionally fired at one of our members while he was carrying out his duties. We are carrying out an investigation into this crime,” the group added.
Israel later apologized for the incident, saying it was a “misunderstanding” and that troops had fired on him after he had been "misidentified."
The apology was not accepted by Hamas with senior official Fathi Hamad saying that “we do not accept the enemy’s apology for the killing of the martyr Mahmoud al-Adham, and we’ll avenge him. We give the Zionist enemy a week to implement the understandings.”
Hammad warned that the group "has the means to act that are awaiting approval," if Israel does not carry out the "understandings."
"We are on the verge of an explosion not only in the Gaza Strip, but also in the West Bank and abroad," he added.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit 6,000 Palestinians violently demonstrated in several spots along the Gaza border on Friday with IDF troops using riot dispersal means against the demonstrators.
A number of Palestinians were also identified as crossing the border fence into Israeli territory in the southern part of the Strip and immediately returned.
In addition, the military said that several explosive devices were thrown at IDF troops, no injuries were caused. During the riots an IDF Jeep was hit by a Molotov cocktail thrown by protesters. There were no reported IDF injuries.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 34 protesters were injured including a 17 year-old who was seriously wounded after being hit in the stomach by IDF fire.
Thousands of Gazans have been protesting along the security fence on a weekly basis taking part in Great Return March demonstrations which began last year, calling for an end of the 12 year long Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza over 300 Palestinians have been killed and about 17,000 others injured by IDF since the beginning of the protests.
Also on Friday, a delegation of senior Egyptian intelligence officials entered Gaza for talks with the Hamas leadership over reconciliation with Israel and the attempts to reach a reconciliation with Fatah.
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