Israel, Hamas exchange mortar fire across norther Gaza border

Violet Powell
December 1, 2017

The attack was carried out in response to high-trajectory fire at an IDF post in the northern Gaza Strip.

The IDF said Thursday evening that Israelis living north of the Gaza Strip can return to their normal lives after a series of strikes in Gaza.

The Israeli army said earlier on Thursday that "the Israel Air Force and tanks have attacked four terrorist targets in Gaza", in retaliation for alleged rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.

Rival Palestinian factions agreed on Wednesday to postpone the handover of control over Gaza from Hamas to Fatah, less than 48 hours before a deadline as part of an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal.

The army confirmed shortly thereafter that they had targeted "two additional military posts belonging to terror organizations in the Gaza Strip".

In a brief joint statement, Fatah and Hamas said they had asked Egypt to delay the timetable from Dec 1 so that they could "complete the arrangements to successfully conclude reconciliation steps to which the Palestinian people aspire", Reuters reported.

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No Israelis were injured in the attack.

Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip have fought three wars since 2008.

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed on Wednesday to delay the final transfer of power over the Gaza Strip from Hamas to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority government by 10 days to December 10 to allow time to "complete arrangements", officials said. "The occupation bears responsibility", he said.

In late October, the IDF blew up a tunnel stretching from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.

Israel also is building an underground barrier to prevent tunnels from crossing into Israel.

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