Israel, Gaza exchange fire after funeral of Palestinian paramedic


Latest escalation comes hours after thousands of Palestinians attend funeral of young female volunteer medic

Explosion in Gaza city after airstrike by Israeli forces late Saturday (AFP)
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Last update: 
Sunday 3 June 2018 20:37 UTC

Israeli aircraft pounded 10 militant targets in Gaza in response to Palestinian projectile fire, its army said on Sunday, shattering a ceasefire reached just days ago after the worst flare-up since a 2014 war.

The latest escalation came hours after thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of a young female volunteer medic killed by Israeli fire in violence on the border in southern Gaza.

Israeli "fighter jets targeted 10 terror sites in three military compounds belonging to the Hamas terror organisation in the Gaza Strip," the army said in a statement early Sunday.

"Among the targets were two Hamas munitions manufacturing and storage sites and a military compound," the army said. 

The strikes were retaliation for rockets fired at Israel, as well as "various terror activities approved and orchestrated by the Hamas terror organisation over the weekend," the army said.

The army listed a series of attempted attacks at soldiers on the border fence, as well as "damaging security infrastructure and igniting fires in Israeli territory with the use of arson kites and balloons".

There were no immediate reports of casualties in Gaza.

On Saturday evening, militants in the Palestinian enclave fired two projectiles at southern Israel, where air raid sirens sent residents to bomb shelters.

The Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepted one of the projectiles, while the other was believed to have fallen short of its target and hit within Gaza, according to the army.

Early Sunday, two more projectiles were separately launched at Israel. Both were intercepted, the army said.

No group in Gaza claimed responsibility for the projectile attacks, which came after the Saturday funeral of Razan al-Najjar, 21, a volunteer with the Gaza health ministry, who was fatally shot in the chest near Khan Yunis on Friday.

The Israeli military statement, however, added: "The Hamas terror organisation is solely responsible for all events that transpire in the Gaza Strip and emanate from it."