Rocket fired toward Israel explodes on Palestinian side of Gaza border

2017 Nasser Nasser  AP      
                                               Walid Salem

2017 Nasser Nasser AP Walid Salem

The Israeli military said it hit the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers with tank and aircraft fire late Monday after Palestinians earlier launched a rocket at southern Israel.

Palestinian health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP the two men were killed "in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza after an Israeli strike targeted a motorcycle".

The Israeli army denied any role in the incident and said that contrary to the Palestinian report, the military had not carried out any such drone strike in Gaza.

On Monday night, the Israeli military said it hit Hamas positions after intercepting rockets coming from the blockaded enclave.

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Palestinians say the two killed were members of the Al-Quds Brigade, the military wing of Islamic Jihad.

The tension in the Gaza Strip has been escalating since US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last week.

On Thursday, Israel also used air strikes and tank fire into Gaza after what a military statement described as "a projectile" was sacked into southern Israel. The employee issue is one of the major sticking points along with the future of Hamas's militant force in a decade of failed reconciliation attempts between the two sides.

At least four Palestinians were injured, two of them seriously, after Israeli soldiers stationed along the border with Gaza opened fire at them, during clashes with protesters, according to local sources.

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