By Middle East Affairs
Israeli fighter jets attacked Monday a Hamas “military target” in northern Gaza as a response to Palestinians breaching the border and laying bombs the previous day, AFP reports.
The news agency said damage or casualties from Gaza had been reported.
The army claimed to have found explosive devices near the northern Gaza border fence that suspects had laid on Sunday. Israeli troops had been told to prioritize that no one crosses the border or damages the fence.
That’s led to troops shooting live ammunition at unarmed protesters, sometimes 250 meters or more away from the border, which is killed 30 Palestinians since the “Great March of Return” protests began March 30.
The global community is beginning to grill Israel over the killings, but Israel claims that Hamas, the armed group that controls the Gaza Strip and has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, is trying to exploit the protests to create violence.
“The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) views with great severity the Hamas terror organization endeavors to turn the security fence parameter into a combat zone while attempting to damage security and defense infrastructure,” the army said in its Monday statement.
Hamas, on the other hand, claims it does not want violence and urges the Israeli troops not to shoot at unarmed civilians. On Friday the group released sniper photos of Israeli troops at the border to prove it could shoot to kill but is choosing not to. Rights groups are also calling for Israeli troops to reject orders to shoot civilians.
International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Sunday she would open a preliminary examination over whether Israel or Hamas have committed any alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity.