Palestinian Fire Kills Israeli Soldier Near Gaza Border - IDF

© AP Photo / Tsafrir AbayovIsraeli soldiers stand near the border with Gaza. (File)
Israeli soldiers stand near the border with Gaza. (File) - Sputnik International
An Israeli soldier was shot dead Friday by Palestinian gunfire on the Gaza border, the Israeli army said in a statement.

"Today an IDF combat soldier was killed during operational activity near the southern Gaza Strip. A terrorist squad shot at IDF troops and the IDF soldier was severely injured. He later succumbed to his wounds," the army said in a statement.

The Israeli army’s aircraft and tanks hit a number of targets in the Gaza Strip earlier on Friday in response to the shelling of its positions from the area during violent riots at the border. Israel used tanks and aviation to target positions of the Hamas Palestinian movement across the Gaza Strip.

Gaza Strip Healthcare Ministry reported about four victims of the Israeli attacks. Following the outbreak of violence, three rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip targeting Israeli territories, according to IDF. Two of them were intercepted by the Israeli missile defense system.

Israeli Merkava tanks roll near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip as they return from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal enclave on August 5, 2014 - Sputnik International
Israeli Army Intercepts Two Out of Three Rockets Fired From Gaza - IDF
Hostilities between the Israelis and the Palestinians near the Gaza border increased since late March, which marked the beginning of the Palestinian protest campaign against Israel — the Great March of Return.

On Tuesday, the Israeli Defense Forces announced that energy supplies to the Kerem Shalom checkpoint would be cut, while the delivery of food and medicines would continue. Military actions escalated in the area on Saturday, when the Israel Air Force started hitting militants' targets in the Gaza Strip following last weeks's border riots during which Palestinians launched arson balloons and burning kites towards Israel.

According to the UN humanitarian affairs office, who cited the Israeli authorities, the restrictions were toughened following over 750 fires caused in Israel by the arson balloons and burning kites.

According to the Palestinian authorities, some 140 people have been killed and thousands of others wounded by the Israeli forces since late March.

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