Israeli aircraft strike Hamas sites in Gaza after border clashes

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Israeli aircraft struck Hamas sites in Gaza late on Saturday, the military said, in an escalation of hostilities after earlier cross-border gunfire seriously injured an Israeli soldier and wounded 41 Palestinians, including two critically.

The injuries came during a Gaza protest in support of Jerusalem.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered near the Strip’s heavily fortified border, where some tried to scale the border fence, the Israeli military said.

“IDF (Israeli military) troops responded with riot dispersal means, including when necessary live fire,” it said in a statement.

Among the two Palestinians critically injured was a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head, Gaza’s health ministry said. It described most of the other injuries as moderate, including gun shots to limbs, backs and abdomens.

Cross-border fire from Gaza seriously wounded an Israeli border police soldier, who is in hospital receiving medical treatment, the military said. There was no claim of responsibility for the Gaza gunfire.

In response to the soldier’s shooting, Israeli “fighter jets have struck four weapons storage and manufacturing sites belonging to” Hamas, the military said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Bracing for more hostilities, the military said it had sent additional forces to the Gaza border area. Israeli media reported the military had increased deployment of its Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Reuters

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