Egyptian navy forces kill Palestinian fisherman near border coast

14 January, 2018, 11:08 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Palestinian protesters wave national flags during clashes with Israeli security forces on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City near the border with Israel

The Israeli forces have conducted an airstrike hitting a target in the southern Gaza Strip, the army's press service said Sunday.

Israel denied claims the tunnel was used for smuggling, asserting it was intended by Hamas to bring terrorists and weapons from Egypt into the Gaza Strip for a possible future combined attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing from the Egyptian side.

The army said the decision to not open the crossing, which ordinarily sees hundreds of goods-bearing trucks pass through each day, was made after extensive rioting took place along the security fence surrounding the coastal enclave on Friday.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman commended the forces for carrying out the "professional and precise" operation.

The Israel Defense Forces would not elaborate on the nature of the "infrastructure" that was bombed.

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On December 14, following multiple rocket attacks from Gaza, Israel also shut down the Kerem Shalom Crossing, along with the Erez Crossing, through which people enter and exit the Strip. Meanwhile, the military officials have noted that more tunnels will likely be destroyed in coming months as the barrier nears completion, TOI added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed to respond to the Hamas terrorist organization with "even greater force" if necessary, alluding to an overnight strike on "terrorist infrastructure" on the Gaza-Sinai border.

"One of the Palestinian fishing boats came under direct fire from the Egyptian army late Friday near the Palestinian-Egyptian naval border, leaving a fisherman martyred", the Ministry said.

Israel has been constructing a sensor-equipped underground wall along the 60-km Gaza border, aiming to complete the $1.1 billion project by mid-2019. The 1.5-kilometer (about 0.93-mile) long tunnel, which passed under several strategic Israeli targets such as a gas pipeline, was completely destroyed in the strike.

The head of the fishing union in Gaza announced a halt in fishing until Sunday evening in protest at the killing.

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