Friday, 17 August, 2018

Hamas Vows 'Dire Consequences' for Israel, Amid Latest Gaza Border Flare-Up

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Ellis Copeland | 10 August, 2018, 06:45

Hamas is threatening to retaliate against Israel for the killing on Tuesday of two of its fighters by the Israeli Army, which said it was responding to the fighters' fire on its soldiers at the border.

"Targeting Abu-Hussein and Murtaja was a clear example of the flagrant Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists", the report said.

"The group added that "DCIP evidence has determined on multiple occasions that children killed along the Gaza Strip perimeter did not pose a direct, mortal threat at the time of their death", while noting that under global law, the use lethal force is strictly reserved for instances when a" direct and mortal threat to life or of serious injury exists".

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that the incident was "expected to destroy Egypt and the UN's efforts to achieve a long-term ceasefire" between Israel and Hamas.

"The IDF will take action against any offensive intent and every attempted attack on our forces", the army said, adding that it held Hamas responsible for all violence coming out of Gaza. It released a video appearing to show militants shooting from a watchtower before a tank shell hits the position.

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Israel says Hamas, which rules Gaza, is using the protests as cover to carry out cross-border attacks.

Hamas' military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, confirmed in a statement that the dead men were its fighters and named them as Ahmad Murjan and Abdel-Hafez al-Silawi.

The tension in Gaza has been high since the Palestinians launched massive anti-Israel rallies in March, known as "the Great March of Return", which demanded the lift of the blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2007.

Israel has lost tracts of farmland and forest to fires started by kites and helium balloons laden with incendiary material which have caused fires in Israeli forests and farmlands and flown over the border by Palestinians in Gaza.

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