Israel targets Gaza port in overnight strikes

Israel targets Gaza port in overnight strikes
Tensions continue to build in Gaza, with Israeli planes striking a port in the besieged Palestinian enclave.
2 min read
28 April, 2018
This is the first port targeted strike since the 2014 war [Getty]

Israeli airstrikes continued in Gaza hitting the besieged city's main port, reported Palestinian officials, with two boats damaged but no injuries reported.

The strikes come following a day of protests that saw four Palestinians shot dead and hundreds wounded in Israeli fire.

Over 154 other people were hospitalised for gunshot wounds and tear gas inhalation, Gaza's health ministry said.

Israel claimed that the fire was in response to a mass attempt to break through the frontier fence.

A statement released by the Israeli military said that its warplanes "targeted six military targets belonging to the Hamas terror organisation’s naval force in the Gaza Strip."

The statement did not specify the location of the targets.

Palestinian eyewitnesses at the port said that the two boats were badly damaged, believed to be the first time Israeli aircraft has targeted boats in the Strip since the 2014 war.

The attacks come at the tail of rising tensions between Hamas-ruled Gaza and Israel.

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.

Earlier on Friday the UN high commissioner for human rights urged Israel to refrain from using excessive force against Palestinians.

Demonstrations are expected to spike again in the lead up to 14 May, when the United States is expected to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

East Jerusalem is considered occupied Palestinian territory under international law.

Israel said it will not investigate the killing of protesters in Gaza, rejected calls for an independent probe and threatened to "expand" its response.