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Israel hits Gaza in response to 'projectile'

By AFP - Mar 09,2019 - Last updated at Mar 09,2019

Palestinian men clear the rubble at the site of an Israeli air strike near a seaport under construction, near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on Saturday (AFP photo)

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Israeli forces said on Saturday they had launched several strikes against Hamas sites in Gaza in response to a projectile launched from the besieged coastal territory the night before. 

"IDF fighter jets and aircraft struck several military targets in a Hamas compound in the southern Gaza Strip and underground structures in the northern Gaza Strip," it said in a statement.

"The strike was conducted in response to the projectile that was launched from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory" as well as the "balloons carrying explosive devices" into Israel and attempts to damage "security infrastructure", it said.

Security officials in Gaza said the strikes had not caused any casualties.

A Palestinian was killed and at least 45 others wounded by Israeli fire on Friday in new protests and clashes along the Gaza border, the enclave's health ministry said.

An Israeli army spokesman said around 8,400 demonstrators had gathered along a barrier between the blockaded territory and Israel, throwing explosive devices and rocks and setting fire to tyres.

The Gaza Strip has been the scene of mass protests and clashes since late March last year.

Demonstrators have been calling for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to be allowed to return to former homes now inside Israel.

Israeli officials say that amounts to calling for the state's destruction.

At least 253 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the rallies began, the majority shot during weekly border protests and others hit by tank fire or air strikes in response to violence from Gaza.

Two members of Israeli forces have been killed over the same period.

Israel and Hamas, which has controlled the blockaded Gaza Strip for over a decade, have fought three wars since 2008.

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