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Israeli army shells several sites in southern Gaza

March 10, 2017 11:11 A.M. (Updated: March 14, 2017 5:35 P.M.)
(File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army shelled several sites in the southern Gaza Strip Friday at dawn, in what locals suspected was in retaliation for rocket shells that were fired towards Israel from Gaza late Thursday evening.

Israeli forces shelled at least three at sites in the southern besieged coastal enclave Friday, including eastern al-Qarara, eastern Khan Yunis and Deir al-Balah. No injuries were reported.

Israeli forces also fired flares in the area around the same time as the shelling.

Israeli news sites reported late Thursday night that a locally made rocket was fired towards the Kissufim Israeli military site in southern Israel from eastern Khan Yunis.

The rocket landed and exploded inside Gaza’s border, and caused no damages or injuries.

An Israeli army spokesperson said she was unaware of either incident from Thursday or Friday.

Cross-border tensions between Israel and Gaza have been running high recently, following a number of airstrikes and shelling by Israeli forces and shooting and rocket fire from Gaza.

On Tuesday, a Palestinian man was injured by an Israeli artillery shell, as Israeli forces deployed heavily near the northern Gaza Strip in order to dismantle an explosive device along the border.

Late last month, the Israeli army targeted multiple sites across the besieged Gaza Strip with airstrikes and artillery fire leaving at least four Palestinians injured, hours after an Israeli army spokesperson said that a rocket fired from Gaza landed in an open area in southern Israel causing no injuries or damages.

On Feb. 9, Gaza's Ministry of Health said that two Palestinians were killed and five were injured as a result of an airstrike on a smuggling tunnel between Egypt and Gaza, though an Israeli army spokesperson denied involvement in the incident.

The Gaza-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights expressed concern in February in response to Israeli airstrikes that Israel could be leading up to a wide-scale military offensive.

The rights group called on the international community to “act promptly against Israel’s military escalation, to fulfill their obligations to protect civilians, and ensure respect for the rules of international law,” stressing that “acting before a full-scale military bombardment is launched is crucial to ensuring the protection of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

Israeli officials have also accused Hamas, Gaza's de facto leaders, of "preparing" for another war with Israel and have threatened retaliatory measures against the Gaza Strip as a whole, while Israeli authorities hold Hamas responsible for all attacks against Israeli targets coming from the Gaza Strip.

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