Gaza City-Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip, the Palestinian health ministry said Sunday, hours after three rockets were fired at Israel from the blockaded enclave.
The ministry said another Palestinian was hospitalized in the shooting that came after the Israeli army said an attack helicopter and tank had fired at “armed suspects” along the barrier that separates Israel from Gaza.
“We just identified a number of armed suspects from Gaza approaching the security fence with Israel. We fired towards them,” the army said a statement posted on its Twitter account.
The latest violence came after three rockets were fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip at southern Israel late Saturday, the Israeli army said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The army said two of the projectiles had been intercepted by its Iron Dome aerial defense system but it did not specify what happened to the third rocket.
Air raid sirens had sounded in the southern town of Sderot and its surroundings.
In response, Israeli warplanes struck at least three targets in the Gaza Strip early on Saturday but caused no casualties, a Palestinian security source said.
The strikes hit a Hamas observation post in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, an unidentified target near Gaza City and open ground near Deir El Balah in the central part of the territory, the source said.
An Israeli army statement mentioned only two strikes, against “underground targets belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the northern and central Gaza Strip.”
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, have fought three wars since 2008.
Since March 2018, regular protests and clashes have erupted along the border of Gaza.
At least 305 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza or the border area since then, the majority during demonstrations and clashes.
Seven Israelis have also been killed in Gaza-related violence over the same period.