Gaza Border 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The United Nations on Thursday said that both Israel and Hamas have given indications that they want to reduce tensions in and around the Gaza Strip, Reuters reported.
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"We are hearing a clear desire from all concerned to deescalate the situation and respect calm and I appeal for an end to acts of violence," UN special envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry said in a statement.
Earlier on Thursday, a Palestinian medic claimed the IDF shot and killed a shepherd near Gaza's border with Israel.
Adham Abu Salmia said the man was leading his goats in an open area near Gaza's Erez border crossing with Israel when he was shot. He died later in hospital. Another man with him was wounded.
The IDF confirmed that the soldiers opened fire on several people who entered a security zone along the northern Gaza Strip border with Israel.
IDF spokesperson said Gaza terrorists use the area to attack Israelis, so it allows no one to enter. The soldiers fired warning shots at two men before shooting them in the lower body, according to a statement.
The incident marked the continuation of hostilities in the area that have marked the past several days.
On Tuesday, Israel pounded Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip in the most extensive aerial bombardment since Operation Cast Lead two years ago.
At least three Hamas operatives were killed during the bombing of arms storehouses and smuggling tunnels along the border with Egypt, and in the pummeling of tunnels being dug toward Israel.
The IAF strikes came in response to multiple attacks on southern Israel from Gaza.
A Kassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into the Ashkelon area on Tuesday morning, landing in Kibbutz Zikim. The rocket exploded near a kindergarten, as dozens of parents were dropping off their children at school, injuring a 14-year old girl.
The incident followed a spate of attacks emanating from Gaza in the previous days, encompassing the launch of some three rockets and 18 mortars into the regions of Eshkol and Ashkelon. These attacks included the launch of six mortars on Sunday at IDF forces operating near the Kerem Shalom Crossing.