Israel and Gaza Palestinians traded attacks on Thursday, with a 22-year-old Palestinian man reported to be killed in a retaliatory strike by Israel.
In the latest salvo, a rocket fired from Gaza at southern Israel in the afternoon set off alerts that sent thousands of border area residents running to protected areas. The rocket landed next to a cowshed in the Eshkol Regional Council.
The Israel Defence Forces responded by firing tank shells at a Hamas observation point in southern Gaza.
The rocket was fired from Gaza more than an hour after an Israeli airstrike on a group of Palestinians launching arson balloons into Israel. That strike killed the man and injured three others, one critically, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported, citing the European Hospital in Rafah.
Following the airstrike, two mortar shells were fired from Gaza at Israeli soldiers guarding the border fence.
At least 14 fires were started Thursday by the balloons carrying incendiary material, Ynet reported.
In the UK, the Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl and Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb said: “Israel – as every other sovereign nation state – has the right to defend and protect her citizens and its borders. We strongly deplore the ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza on Southern Israeli communities, which make the lives of so many Israeli mothers, fathers, and children unbearable. We call on Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by the United Kingdom and the United States, to de-escalate the situation and refrain from further violence.”
Sirens sounded in the Eshkol Regional Council. More details to follow. pic.twitter.com/3hIAlj2N5T
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 19, 2018