Israel rejects European Union plan to link Gaza and West Bank

Elias Hubbard
August 9, 2018

Residents of Israeli communities near the Gaza border were instructed on Wednesday night to remain near protected spaces.

The IDF posted some raw footage of the rocket attacks, from which at least 17 people were treated for bodily and shock injuries, Jerusalem Post reports.

Israel's military earlier said shots were fired from Gaza at civilians working on the barrier that separate the territory and Israel, damaging a vehicle.

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After Israel responded with tank fire, dozens of rockets were sent toward Israeli territory on Wednesday night.

Armed Israeli drones and F-16 warplanes have pounded various areas across the besieged Gaza Strip, killing at least a Palestinian and injuring several others.

An Israeli minister said his government has rejected an European Union plan to link the Gaza Strip with the West Bank, according to Israeli media on Wednesday.

Under the agreement's terms, according to the same Hamas official, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip would be opened on a permanent basis, and Israeli restrictions on the Kerem Shalom border crossing would also be eased "dramatically". Israeli officials said they had been able to shoot down two of the rockets using the Iron Dome missile system.

He called on all sides to step "back from the brink".

Earlier in the day, the Israeli army shelled a Hamas military position in Gaza in retaliation for an alleged attack from the Palestinian side that targeted its heavy equipment on the Gaza-Israeli border.

Israel has been battling large fires caused by kites and balloons rigged with incendiary devices or burning rags launched from Gaza that have destroyed forests, burned crops and killed wildlife and livestock.

The escalation comes after the Hamas leadership convened for a rare meeting in Gaza on Friday.

A truce between Hamas and Israel will be officially unveiled by the end of August, according to Turkey's official news agency Anadolu, quoting a Hamas source. The IDF later suggested the incident was a misunderstanding, as the tank returned fire in response to the shots fired as part of a ceremony of the al-Qassam Brigades, which were not deliberately aimed at Israeli soldiers, Haaretz reported.

The last war in 2014 ended with a tense ceasefire and analysts say another round of conflict remains likely.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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