There was an exchange of fire during an operation by the Israeli military on Sunday. Six Palestinians and one soldier were killed.
Clashes have increased in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks Photo: dpa
At least six Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed in a gun battle in the Gaza Strip on Sunday. The Israeli army said an "exchange of fire" occurred during an operation by special forces in the Palestinian enclave. It said one Israeli soldier was killed and another suffered minor injuries. According to Palestinian sources, six Palestinians were killed, including a leader of the Essedin al-Kassam Brigades, the armed arm of the radical Islamic Hamas.
According to the report, the exchange of fire occurred in the south of the Gaza Strip near the town of Chan Junis. The Essedin al-Kassam Brigades said the Israeli soldiers entered the Gaza Strip in a civilian vehicle. A spokesman for Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, called it a "cowardly Israeli attack." According to Palestinian security sources, Israel also flew airstrikes.
After the exchange of fire, at least ten rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip in the direction of Israel. Of these, several were intercepted by Israeli missile defenses, the army said. Warning sirens sounded in southern Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ended a visit to Paris early after the skirmish. Because of the security situation in the south of the country, Netanyahu decided to cut short the visit and return to Israel that evening, his office said.
Clashes again and again
Netanyahu had been in the French capital for World War II commemorations. He was supposed to meet French leader Emmanuel Macron on Monday. Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman held consultations at military headquarters, according to his office.
Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been heightened for about six months. Anti-Israeli protests have occurred repeatedly along the border since late March, usually resulting in bloody clashes with soldiers. There have been repeated attacks with rockets and incendiary balloons on Israeli territory.