The Latest: Israel says it struck Hamas position in Gaza
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on tensions between Israel and the Palestinians (all times local):
Israel’s military says its forces have struck a Hamas position in Gaza after Palestinians rallying at the Gaza border threw a grenade and explosive devices at troops stationed there.
The violence came as Gaza’s militant Islamic Hamas rulers and Israel had been honoring a cease-fire. Hamas has led weekly border protests aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas took control of Gaza.
The military said Palestinians hurled “explosive devices and firebombs” and in one instance a grenade at Israeli soldiers Friday. It said there were also several attempts to infiltrate the border into Israel.
The military deployed tank fire at a Hamas post in response, it said.
Israel says it is defending its border and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the border fence and carry out attacks.
Palestinian health officials say a paramedic has been shot and killed by Israeli fire at a Hamas-led protest along the Gaza border as the militant Islamic group and Israel observed a cease-fire.
Gaza’s Health Ministry said Abdullah al-Qutati, 26, was shot and killed and 40 others were wounded by live fire.
Another medic, Mohammed Suhwail, tells The Associated Press he witnessed the shooting. He said after treating wounded the medic who was killed “began walking toward the (field hospital) but was shot in the back and the bullet exited from his chest.”
The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
The incident came as Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel honored a cease-fire Friday that ended two days of an intense flare-up in violence.
Hamas has led weekly border protests aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza imposed after the militant group took over the territory in 2007.
Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers and Israel appear to be honoring a cease-fire that ended two days of an intense flare-up in violence amid efforts by neighboring Egypt to negotiate between the two sides.
Israel’s military said on Friday that no rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel overnight and it conducted no airstrikes. Israel’s government hasn’t confirmed the truce.
Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV reported late Thursday that an Egypt-brokered deal had taken hold “on the basis of mutual calm.”
Israel and Hamas have come close to serious conflict in recent weeks after four months of violence along Gaza’s border following Hamas-organized protests there.
At least 163 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including 120 protesters, since then. During that time, a Gaza sniper killed an Israeli soldier.