Israel strikes Gaza; Hamas says no causalities

Israeli trucks carrying supply for the Gazan people entering Kerem Shalom cargo crossing on the Israel- Gaza border. Kerem Shalom Jul 9 2019

Tension in the border area with the Gaza Strip was caused by a drone operation carried out by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Israeli army spokesman said on Sunday. The reasons are now being investigated.

Palestinian media reported that Hamas resistance fighters intercepted and downed the quadcopter drone east of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip on Monday night. It "dropped what seems to be an explosive device" near the security fence, damaging a military vehicle before returning to Gaza.

Palestinian news agencies said late on Saturday that Israeli airstrikes targeted positions allegedly held by Hamas inside the enclave.

The launch came less than two weeks after Israeli airstrikes targeting Gaza in response to a rocket landing in an open field. During border clashes on Friday, two Palestinians aged 14 and 17 were shot dead by Israeli forces, the Gaza health ministry said, with another 46 Palestinians wounded. The truce was negotiated by Egyptian and United Nations officials with aid from Qatar to end several severe flare-ups of violence in recent months. A Hamas security source said there were no casualties resulting from the Israeli strikes.

The use of drones has raised concerns that Palestinian groups were developing their capabilities, he remarked. Palestinians have been holding regular mass protests along the fortified border since March 2018.

Israel has also launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing thousands of Gazans each time and shattering the impoverished territory's already poor infrastructure.

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