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Three Palestinians killed in Israeli firing

19 August 2019

Local sources report that three Palestinians were killed near the border with Israel in northern Gaza early Sunday morning before dawn.

Israeli forces opened fire at a group of Palestinian gunmen as they tried to cross the Gaza border, the military said yesterday and Palestinian health officials said three of the men were killed.

Earlier that night, Israeli sources report that three rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel but two were intercepted by the "Iron Dome" defense system, and no damage was reported.

Israel has been imposing a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas took over the enclave in 2007.

Two of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

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Hamas said in a statement that the deaths of Mahmoud al-Walayda, 24, Mohammed Abu Namus, 27, and Mohammed Samir al-Taramsi, 26, were "another crime by the Israeli occupation to be added to its grim toll against the Palestinian people's rights, land and holy sites".

The reports said the five were members of the military wing of Palestinian movement the Islamic Jihad who were crossing the border from Gaza's Beit Hanoun region.

On Saturday night, and IDF spokesperson issued a statement regarding a rocket alert sounded in Israel's south, announcing that "three rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel".

The Israel Air Force later attacked two Hamas underground terrorist infrastructures in northern and central Gaza.

A day before that, Israel's army said its troops shot dead four "heavily armed" Palestinians on the border, claiming that one had managed to cross and "throw a grenade at soldiers".

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On Friday Palestinians in Gaza fired a rocket at Sderot, in what the army said was the first such attack since July 12.

A senior Hamas official told a Palestinian newspaper on Monday there was concern in Gaza that a recent series of violent incidents involving so-called lone-wolf attackers would lead to another war with Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is widely seen as wanting to avoid an escalation in the Gaza Strip before September 17 elections, but he also faces heavy political pressure to respond firmly.

Seven Israelis have also been killed in Gaza-related violence over the same period.

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Three Palestinians killed in Israeli firing