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PFLP, DFLP claim mortar strike on Israeli military targets

Jan. 9, 2014 5:23 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 11, 2014 8:05 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian factions on Thursday took responsibility for launching mortar shells at Israeli military targets earlier in the day.

The military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, said in a statement that it fired two 80-millimeter mortar shells at a group of Israeli tanks that had invaded an area east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

The statement said that the group would continue to resist the Israeli occupation.

Meanwhile, the military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the National Resistance Brigades, said it fired two mortar shells at an Israeli military site east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

The group said in a statement that the shells were fired in a response to ongoing Israeli escalation in Gaza, saying it would continue to conduct operations against Israel.

It called on all Palestinian military wings to unite in resisting the Israeli occupation.

Earlier Thursday, three Palestinians were injured after an Israeli airstrike targeted the southern Gaza Strip, medical officials said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said "earlier this morning three mortars were fired from Gaza at Israeli forces operating adjacent to the security fence in southern Gaza. An hour later, the IDF targeted terrorists in Gaza who were identified as preparing to fire rockets at Israel."

On Wednesday, Palestinian medical sources said a man was killed on in the al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City by an Israeli drone strike.

The Israeli army denied involvement.

Violent incidents at the Gaza-Israel border along with Israeli airstrikes have been a frequent occurrence throughout the last two weeks, after an upheaval of violence killed an Israeli Civil Defense employee and a Palestinian toddler on Dec. 24.

An Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement was reached in November 2012 between Palestinian factions and Israel to end over a week of fighting which left over 170 Palestinians dead and more than a thousand injured. Six Israelis were also killed during the fighting.

Since the agreement, Israeli forces have shot dozens of Gazans in border areas, and have launched several incursions.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006.
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