Thursday January 06, 2011 10:57 by Alessandra Bajec – IMEMC & Agencies
The firing of three mortar shells was reported towards an Israeli military base along the Gaza border, on Thursday morning, a PFLP affilated armed group told Ma’an News. Violence resumed just after Israeli troops fired on a group of Palestinians when they were supposedly trying to cross the Gaza border, on Wednesday evening, AFP reported.
The mortars targeted the Kissufim military zone, based in the northeast al-Qararra, near Khan Younis, the Jihad Jibril Brigades claimed.
The brigades released a statement saying that they would carry on their resistance activities against Israeli forces in Gaza.
An Israeli military spokeswoman stated to have reports of a rocket landing around 7:30 a.m. in the Negev area, north of the Gaza Strip, but said she had no awareness of any attacks in the area of Kissufim.
Overnight, Israeli troops opened fire on a group of Palestinians they said were trying to breach the Gaza Strip border, hitting at least one of them, the military said.
The military said in a statement that the shooting came hours after militants fired what were claimed to be two mortar shells into southern Israel without causing any damage or casualties.
By morning, Gaza medical services spokesman confirmed that two were killed in the fire while Israeli forces said at the time that one was killed and a second injured.
According to Hamas sources, the two men were targeted by Israeli army tanks. Israel army claimed that they shot at the Palestinians who were apparently attempting to breach the border late on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Israeli military reported two projectiles were launched from Gaza into the Ashkelon region. No claim militant group claimed responsibility for the action. The projectile launches followed two Israeli airstrikes hitting targets in Gaza overnight, including one smuggling tunnel and a second site in the central Strip.
On Tuesday, Israel’s air force struck two targets in Gaza in retaliation to a rocket attack earlier in the day, which had caused damage to some greenhouses in southern Israel.
In the past months, Gaza militants have fired dozens of rockets and mortar rounds into southern Israel, resulting into damage and minor injuries on many occasions.
Israeli troops routinely respond to such firing with air raids targeting what the army claims are training sites, weapons facilities and smuggling tunnels.
Troops regularly open fire on Gazans entering the unilaterally-declared ‘no-go zone’, a three-hundred-meter wide buffer zone along the fence, where they are allegedly trying to place bombs or infiltrate Israel, the army says. Meanwhile, dozens of civilians, including many youth, have also been fired and killed in the past year while searching for highly prized gravel, used for rebuilding due to the limitations on construction materials entering the strip due the the Israeli siege.
Most Palestinians in the border area of the Gaza Strip are farmers who risk their lives to reach their farms across the no-go zone, and Israeli soldiers frequently open fire accusing them of attempting to approach the “security fence”.