Israeli fire wounds 32 Palestinians in Gaza beach protest

Cheryl Sanders
October 18, 2018

The Israeli military says a rocket fired from Gaza made a direct hit on a home in southern Israel.

"The situation as it is today can not continue", Avigdor Lieberman told troops and commanders at Reim army base, near southern Israel's border with Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Since March 30, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have participated in a series of protests and riots dubbed the "Great March of Return", which have mostly involved the burning of tires and rock-throwing along the security fence, but have also seen shooting attacks and bombings as well as the sending of incendiary balloons and kites into Israel.

In response to the launching of two rockets from Gaza, one of which hit a home in the southern city of Beersheba, the Israeli Air Force conducted strikes against some 20 targets in the Gaza Strip, including a border-crossing tunnel.

"In response to the rockets fired from #Gaza at #Israel overnight, IDF fighter jets have started attacking terror targets in Gaza", the IDF wrote on its Twitter page.

Additionally, an investigation by the IDF found that Palestinian protesters had "detonated a large explosive device" near a border fence.

Reports Wednesday said that Abbas Kamel, head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Services, had cancelled a trip to Gaza, the West Bank and Israel set for Thursday amid the tensions surrounding Gaza.

Usually, Israeli civilians are encouraged to return to their routine as quickly as possible, but on Wednesday, school was canceled in Beersheva and areas near the Gaza Strip.

Israel has accused Hamas of using the protests as a pretext to carry out attacks on Israeli soldiers and border communities.

Many people in Gaza awoke to the sounds of explosions.

Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008 and fears of a fourth have spurred efforts by Egypt and the United Nations for a wider deal that would see Israelease its blockade in exchange for a long-term truce with the Islamists.

One 25-year-old Palestinian militant was killed and three others were wounded in the Gaza strikes.

"If it has any sense, Hamas will cease its fire and violent outbursts - now", he said Sunday.

"Hamas pretends to rule Gaza, tells Gaza residents that it's trying to improve their lives". The blockade has restricted Hamas' ability to govern and made life extremely hard for Gaza's 2 million residents.

The rocket fell into the garden of a house occupied by a family with three children who were being treated for shock, local media reported. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened "very painful blows", saying Israel was very close to waging a "different kind of activity".

A week ago, Israel also announced it was willing to to issue entry permits for 5,000 merchants from Gaza for business purposes, while Qatar would be allowed to pay the salaries of civil servants in Gaza and to finance humanitarian projects in the poverty-stricken enclave.

Other reports by iNewsToday