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Israeli aircraft strikes Gaza on allegation of ‘mortar fire’

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Israel launched an air strike against Gaza’s Hamas rulers on Tuesday after the Israeli army alleged a mortar round was fired from the strip across the border.

Witnesses in the coastal enclave told AFP that fire from an Israeli drone hit Hamas facilities east of Al Bureij refugee camp.

No injuries were reported.

“A short while ago a mortar shell was identified as having been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” an Israeli army statement claimed in English.

“In response, an Israel Defence Forces aircraft targeted a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip.”

Tuesday’s events were the latest in a string of cross-border incidents which have raised concerns of further escalation before Israel’s September 17 elections.

On Monday Israeli warplanes hit what the military said were “targets in a Hamas military compound in the northern Gaza Strip, including the office of a Hamas battalion commander”.

Israel also announced it was slashing by half the fuel it pipes to the strip’s main power station, meaning a cut to Gaza’s already meagre electricity supply. 

Israel and Gaza have fought three wars since 2008.

August has seen several threats to a fragile ceasefire.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for reelection in the September polls, with political opponents calling for tougher action against Islamist movement Hamas.

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بيل ترو مراسلة صحيفة لشؤون الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ Bel Trew Middle East Correspondent …

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