Israeli tanks strike Gaza base following border shootout

Israeli tanks strike Gaza base following border shootout
2 min read
19 December, 2016
The Israeli military fired on Hamas positions in Gaza on Monday, following a brief skirmish with suspected Palestinian militants.
Israel has repeatedly carried out strikes on the Gaza Strip [AFP]
Israeli tanks fired shells at a Hamas post in the Gaza Strip on Monday after troops were shot at on the border with the Palestinian territory, the army said.

Shots were fired towards Israeli soldiers by the fence along the largely closed border by unknown assailants, the army said in a statement.

"In response, tanks targeted a Hamas post."

Sources close to the Hamas-run interior ministry said the tanks targeted an observation tower near the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.

No casualties were reported on either side.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for all violence from the territory and often responds with air or tank strikes.

However, smaller Islamist groups have sometimes claimed responsibility for attacks, including rocket fire.

Israel and Hamas have observed a tense ceasefire since the end of their last conflict in August 2014.

In a separate statement, the Israeli army said it raided an illegal weapons factory in the southern West Bank overnight, arresting two Palestinians and confiscating 12 weapons manufacturing machines.

The Israeli army, which has occupied the West Bank for nearly 50 years, has carried out a series of raids against weapons factories this year, with 40 workshops discovered.

Since October 2015, 244 Palestinians, 36 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese have been killed in violence related to the conflict, according to an AFP count.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.

Others were shot dead during protests or clashes, while some died in Israeli air strikes on Gaza.