Israeli Army Kills 3 Gaza Militants After Foiling Border Bombing

Khalil Hamra

"This is the only barrier of its kind in the world, which will effectively block the possibility of infiltrating into Israel by sea", Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement on Sunday.

Home to almost two million Palestinians, the Gaza Strip has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2006 when Palestinian resistance group Hamas was voted to power in a parliamentary election.

There have been no Israeli casualties along the Gaza frontier, but Israel has reported extensive damage to farmland on its side of the border from firebomb-bearing kites flown over by Palestinians.

The Gazan health ministry identified those killed as Hussein al-Amour, 25, and Abdul Haleem al-Naqa, 28.

According to the Islamic Jihad group, two men were part of their armed wing, called the al-Quds Brigades.

Israel's military said in a statement that the tank fire came after soldiers detonated an explosive device that had been placed near the border fence, targeting its troops.

The military also said the air strike was payback for "continued attempts to sabotage security infrastructure, during the riots constantly led by the Hamas terror organization".

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An attack targeting an observation post on Sunday killed at least three people, including two fighters from the Islamic Jihad movement.

"The IAF attacked terrorist targets deep inside the Gaza Strip last night".

Israeli authorities are also constructing an underground barrier beneath the Gaza-Israel boundary to stop Hamas from digging tunnels into Israeli territory.

No Israelis have been killed during that time.

Around 5,000 Palestinians had turned out for protests against Israeli forces on Friday, the smallest number since the six-week-long "Great March of Return" protests kicked off on March 30 demanding the right to return to ancestral homelands in what is now Israel.

The Defense Ministry has started construction on an underwater barrier, which will stretch from the southern Israeli community of Zikim out into the Mediterranean to stave off Hamas infiltration by sea.

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