MIDDLE EAST

Israel shells Hamas observation posts in Gaza Strip

File Photo

The Israeli army shelled two observation posts near a fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, witnesses said late Friday.

Israel bombed two observation posts belonging to Palestinian resistance group Hamas in the northern city of Beit Lahia and Gaza City's eastern Shajaiyya district.

The army announced before the bombing that five rockets were allegedly launched from the Gaza Strip.

There was no comment from Palestinian authorities on the Israeli claim.

Two Palestinians were martyred and 66 wounded by Israeli fire earlier Friday in weekly anti-occupation protests known as the Great March of Return, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza which did not give further details.

Israel and Hamas, which rules the Strip, reached an informal cease-fire in May after the worst bout of violence since 2014.

Palestinians have been staging weekly protests near the Gaza border to demand an end to a 12-year Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has shattered the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its 2 million inhabitants of many basic amenities.

Since Gaza rallies began last year, nearly 270 protesters have been martyred -- and thousands more wounded -- by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone.

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