Israeli air raids in Gaza kill Palestinian, wound two

Pre-dawn attacks in the besieged coastal enclave hit several sites affiliated with Hamas, local media reports.

    Witnesses said the three individuals were sitting in an orchard adjacent to one of the sites that was hit [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]
    Witnesses said the three individuals were sitting in an orchard adjacent to one of the sites that was hit [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]

    Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip have killed one person, Palestinian officials have said.

    The Gaza Ministry of Health said 27-year-old Ahmed al-Shehri was killed during pre-dawn attacks on Saturday. Two others were wounded in the strikes.

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    Palestinian media reported that the assault targeted several training sites and outposts affiliated with Hamas, the group that rules the besieged Gaza Strip.

    Witnesses at Nasser hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis said the three were sitting in an orchard adjacent to one of the posts that was hit.

    The strikes came after the Israeli military said that Palestinians fired 10 rockets from Gaza into Israel late on Friday, eight of which were intercepted. It said that the series of strikes were carried out in response to the rocket fire.

    There were no reports of casualties. Israeli police said shrapnel damaged a house in the southern town of Sderot and video footage showed a car near the structure with windows blown out by debris.

    It was the second consecutive day that the Israeli army reported rocket fire from the coastal enclave.

    None of the armed groups in Gaza claimed responsibility for firing the rockets. The Israeli military said Hamas was responsible for the incidents.

    Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2007, when the latter seized control of Gaza.

    Since then, Israel and Egypt have imposed a crippling blockade on the enclave. Unemployment in the area stands at 52 percent, according to the World Bank, and poverty is widespread.

    Israel says the blockade is necessary to stop weapons reaching Hamas.

    Hamas says that it is committed to an unofficial ceasefire deal with Israel, but some armed factions in Gaza act independently of the group.

    Earlier on Friday, health officials said that scores of Palestinians were wounded by live fire during protests against the blockade along the Gaza separation fence.

    The weekly demonstrations began last year.

    International mediators, including Egypt and Qatar, oversee the ceasefire deal to reduce the intensity of the protests in return for Israeli concessions and a monthly Qatari cash delivery to Gaza.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies