Four dead in Gaza protests with Israeli military

Hugh Fox
October 28, 2018

An Israeli military spokesman on Saturday accused Iran of orchestrating a rocket barrage from Gaza into Israel, saying Gaza militants were carrying out the launches "under guidance, instructions and incentives" given by the Islamic Republic.

According to the Axios report, Israeli officials said Greenblatt plans to stay in Israel for close to a week and meet with a number of senior officials, in addition to Netanyahu.

Iron Dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel as seen from the city of Ashkelon, Israel October 27, 2018.

Earlier in the day, spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus has alleged that there was a link between the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group it blames for the recent Gaza shelling and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as the Syrian government. The sudden burst of fighting and bloodshed complicated the mission of Egyptian mediators, who have intensified shuttle diplomacy to achieve calm and prevent a full-blown conflict between the militant Hamas group and Israel.

The latter comment appeared to be a reference to the ongoing unrest in the Gaza Strip, where the Hamas terror group has fomented violent rioting, rocket strikes, and airborne arson attacks using kites and balloons.

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Israel has bombed dozens of targets in Gaza after being hit by rockets from the region.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008, and Egypt and the United Nations have been leading diplomatic efforts to avert a fourth.

Sources also confirmed that the rockets fired from Gaza landed in open fields in Israel.

The new flare-up came hours after six Palestinians died in renewed clashes on the Gaza-Israel border even as the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas said Egypt was seeking to negotiate a return to calm. Hamas wants the deal to end a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza.

Although Islamic Jihad often acts independently of Hamas, Israel holds Hamas, which has ruled the Palestinian territory of Gaza since 2007, responsible for all fire emanating from the territory.

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Five Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli fire in separate incidents along the border fence, the Gaza health ministry said.

On Wednesday, Egyptian intelligence officials met representatives of Palestinian factions in Gaza.

The Israeli military said dozens of protesters hurled rocks and explosives at troops who responded with "riot dispersal means" and who fired live rounds in cases when there was a direct threat to life.

A fifth protester succumbed to his wound Saturday, the Health Ministry said. Hamas has demanded a full lifting of the blockade, which has made it increasingly hard for Hamas to govern. A Gaza militant fatally shot an Israeli soldier in July.

Israel has come under heavy worldwide criticism for what many see as excessive use of force and the large number of unarmed people who have been shot.

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