Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinians in Juhr Addik north of Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza strip on Saturday evening.
Palestinian medics told Ma’an that two bodies were found after Israeli forces allowed ambulances to access the area late Sunday morning. The deceased were taken to Ash-Shifa Hospital to be identified, medics said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said Sunday that soldiers fired at two men approaching the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel. The army official told Ma’an that forces identified a hit, but she could not confirm that they were killed.
However, the Israeli daily Haaretz and Israeli news site Ynet reported on Saturday night that both men were killed, quoting a military spokesperson.
Palestinian medical sources told Ma’an on Sunday morning that they had not yet received any information from Israeli officials about the attack. Israeli authorities usually inform Palestinian medics about such incidents through liaison officers, medical officials added.
Israeli forces are on high alert near the borders with the Gaza Strip after Palestinian resistance fighters launched over 50 mortar shells and homemade projectiles across the border on Saturday.
Ma’an’s reporter said Israeli military tanks struck targets near the borders in the northern and central Gaza Strip late on Saturday night. Israeli missiles and artillery shells landed in Juhr Addik, east of Al-Bureij refugee camp, and in agricultural fields east of Gaza City. No injuries have been reported.
Meanwhile, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza, the An-Nasser Salah Addin Brigades said its fighters fired a Grad missile into the western Negev on Saturday evening.
The group said the shelling was a natural response to the ongoing Israeli crimes against Palestinians.
Livni calls for another Cast Lead
On Saturday, Israel’s opposition leader Tzipi Livni said the escalation in mortar fire called for a new military campaign against the coastal enclave.
“The right way to deal with it is with force, just like Israel did during and after Operation Cast Lead,” news website Ynet quoted her as telling local authority heads in the border region.
Israeli forces killed some 1,400 Palestinians during the December 2008 offensive, more than half of whom were civilians. Thirteen Israelis, 10 of them soldiers, were killed in the 22-day attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel would use “all necessary means to protect its citizens” in a statement from his office.
In January, Gaza’s main militant factions confirmed a year-old truce after weeks of increased rocket fire and spiraling tensions along the border prompted a warning from Arab leaders that Gaza was risking a major new Israeli invasion.