Two Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrike on northern Gaza Strip

Two Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrike on northern Gaza Strip

Israeli tank fire killed two Hamas gunmen in Gaza on Tuesday in a strike the Israeli military described as return fire for a shooting attack against its forces, an account disputed by the Palestinian Islamist group.

The number of Palestinian children who died at the hands of the Israeli occupation this year has doubled in comparison to 2017, during which 15 children were killed, according to DCIP records.

"The IDF is prepared to target any aggression against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for everything happening in and emanating from the Gaza Strip", the IDF said in a statement.

The army issued orders to Israelis living on the Gaza periphery to be ready to enter the shelters in case rockets start falling from Gaza.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that the incident was "expected to destroy Egypt and the UN's efforts to achieve a long-term ceasefire" between Israel and Hamas.

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Ezzeddine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, for its part, said that the two Palestinians were Abdulhafeth Silawi 23, and Ahmad Murjan 23 from the Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza strip and they belong to the brigades.

"The resistance can not allow the occupation to impose a policy of bombing sites and targeting fighters without paying the price", a Hamas statement said.

Tensions have soared since Hamas launched mass protests along the border in March.

Two months after its construction began, earlier this week, Israel's Ministry of Defense released first footage of the sea barrier it is building along the country's border with Gaza. By the end of July, over 155 Palestinians had died by Israeli fire and thousands were injured, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza.

Human rights groups have accused Israeli troops of using excessive force at the protests.

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