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Israel strikes Gaza in overnight raids

Israel strikes Gaza in overnight raids
2 min read
No casualties were reported after Israel struck the besieged Gaza Strip in overnight raids
Israel routinely carries out airstrikes in the besieged Gaza Strip [Getty]

The Israeli army says it struck two Hamas targets during raids on the besieged Gaza Strip on Saturday night.

One of the targets, in the southern town of Rafah, was a facility of the Hamas movement's military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the sources said. The other they described only as a Hamas site in the centre of the strip.

No immediate reports of casualties, Palestinian security sources in the besieged territory said.

The Israeli military said in a statement that its "fighter jets struck military targets in a compound belonging to the Hamas terror organisation in the southern Gaza Strip".

It did not confirm a second raid.

The statement said that the operation was in response to a brief incursion across the Gaza border earlier in the day by

Palestinian protesters who immediately fled back into Palestinian territory. 

It added that it that the strike was also in retaliation for repeated Palestinian attempts to damage the border fence and "security infrastructure" during ongoing border protests.

Israel has been condemned globally for its disproportionate use of force against the Palestinian protesters.

Mass protests erupted on 30 March - dubbed "Great Return March" - which have centred on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, after they were expelled following the 1948 creation of Israel.

The protests along the Gaza border quickly turned deadly, with Israeli forces responding with live ammunition. 

At least 1,600 protesters have been wounded by gunfire or needed treatment for tear gas inhalation in the weeks of protests.

The Israeli army has claimed that its forces only open fire in self-defence or to stop protesters attempting to breach the barrier separating the coastal enclave from Israel.

Only a few Israeli soldiers have suffered minor injuries.