Israeli air strikes hit Gaza after bloody border protests
GAZA CITY- Agence France-Press
Israel's army said it had launched air strikes targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip on July 14, following border clashes that saw a Palestinian teenager shot dead and many injured including an Israeli soldier.
The Israeli aerial bombardment came as rockets and mortars were lobbed into southern Israel from the blockaded Palestinian enclave.
Israeli fighter jets struck two "Hamas terror tunnels" one in southern Gaza and one in the north as well as other infrastructure across the coastal territory, Israel's military said in statements posted on Twitter.
It said targets included "complexes used to prepare arson terror attacks and a Hamas terror training facility".
The army said the strikes were conducted "in response to the terror acts instigated during the violent riots that took place along the security fence" on July 13.
It also cited "continuous arson attacks damaging Israeli territory on a daily basis with the launching of arson balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory".
Israeli media reports said no one was injured in those attacks.
"The protection and the defense of our people is a national duty and a strategic choice," Barhoum said.
Palestinians in Gaza have for months been demonstrating against Israel's decade-long blockade of the territory and in support of their right to return to lands they fled or were driven from during the war surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.
No Israelis have been killed.
Israel's army said grenades, Molotov cocktails, flaming tires and stones have been hurled in the direction of its soldiers, one of whom was injured by a grenade.
Israel says its use of live fire is necessary to defend its borders and stop infiltrations.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.