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Israel says its tanks struck Gaza posts after launch of projectile

Tensions have spiked since US released 'deal of century' plan that was rejected by Palestinian leadership in West Bank and Gaza
Israeli Merkava main battle tanks stationed near Gaza Strip in southern Israel (AFP/file photo)

The Israeli army said its tanks attacked military posts in the besieged Gaza Strip on Saturday after fighters in the Palestinian enclave fired a projectile.

The army said tanks "targeted two Hamas military posts in the northern Gaza Strip" in response to the projectile, in the latest round of violence in the wake of the United States unveiling its controversial plan for Israel and Palestine.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the Israeli attack, AFP reported.

The projectile from Gaza had activated an alert "for open areas only", according to the army, while a spokeswoman for the regional council in Shaar Hanegev, near northeast Gaza, said it apparently hit an open field, causing no damage or casualties.

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Israeli-Palestinian tensions have increased since 28 January when US President Donald Trump released his vision for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - a plan firmly rejected by the Palestinian leadership in both the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

It would grant Israel a number of its long-held goals, including full control of disputed Jerusalem and a green light to annex all settlements and other parts of the occupied West Bank.

Israel's settlements are illegal under international law, violating Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, among other international agreements and UN resolutions. 

In exchange, Palestinians would be offered a demilitarised state in fragmented parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinians in Gaza, an enclave ruled by the Hamas movement under a stringent Israeli-led siege for nearly 13 years, have launched rockets, mortar shells and balloons rigged with explosives at southern Israel on a near-daily basis since the full plan was revealed.

Since then, at least five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces. While a Palestinian citizen of Israel was killed on Thursday in the Old City of Jerusalem after attempting to shoot Israeli policemen, the majority of those killed were participating in demonstrations against the US proposals.

Israeli authorities have also blocked Palestinian exports from going abroad via Jordan, the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported on Saturday, as tensions have ratcheted up since Trump unveiled his much-maligned proposal.

Israel reinforced troops in Jerusalem, the West Bank and around Gaza ahead of the weekend.