Three Gazans killed as Israeli troops open fire

GAZA CITY: Israel said it opened fire on armed Palestinians on Gaza’s border overnight and Hamas’s health ministry reported three dead on Sunday, the latest in a series of incidents along the tense barrier.
Israel’s tank and helicopter fire came after Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip fired three rockets at Israel late on Saturday, the army said, the second such attack in 24 hours.
Two rockets were intercepted by Israel’s air defence systems, it said, without specifying what happened to the third.
Police reported no casualties in Israel, but said a rocket fragment fell on a house in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.
Israeli medics said they had treated six people, including two with minor injuries sustained while running to bomb shelters and four others with panic attacks.
Hours later, Israel’s army said “troops spotted a number of armed suspects adjacent to the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip”.
It added that an “attack helicopter and a tank fired towards them”.
The health ministry in the Palestinian enclave run by Hamas reported three dead and said another Palestinian was hospitalised following the incident north of Beit Lahia.
It identified those killed as Mahmoud al Walayda, 24, Mohammed Abu Namus, 27, and Mohammed Samir al Taramsi, 26.
Hamas in a statement called their deaths “another crime by the Israeli occupation to be added to its grim toll against the Palestinian people’s rights, land and holy sites.”
Palestinian militant group issued a statement mourning their deaths, but did not claim them as members.
“We affirm the right of our people to resist and confront all forms of Zionist aggression,” it said.
A series of incidents along the Gaza border has tested a fragile truce between Hamas and Israel in recent days.
On Friday night, a rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel and was intercepted by missile defence systems. — AFP