Two Palestinian militants killed by Israeli fire in Gaza Strip

Two Palestinian militants killed by Israeli fire in Gaza Strip

Two Palestinian militants killed by Israeli fire in Gaza Strip

Israeli tank fire at an Islamic Jihad observation post killed two militants from the group in the southern Gaza Strip on May 27, Palestinian officials said.

The Gazan health ministry identified those killed as Hussein al-Amour, 25, and Abdul Haleem al-Naqa, 28. The incident happened east of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, a ministry spokesman said.

A statement from the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, claimed the two as members.

Islamic Jihad is the second-most powerful armed group in the Gaza Strip, after Hamas, which runs the Palestinian enclave.

Israel’s military said in a statement that the tank fire came after soldiers detonated an explosive device that had been placed near the border fence, targeting its troops.

It said the explosive device had been hidden inside a pair of fence cutters.

Separately late on May 26, Israeli aircraft struck two targets belonging to Hamas, but there were no reports of casualties.

The military said the operation was in response to a brief incursion across the border earlier in the day by Palestinians who immediately fled back into Gaza.

It added that the strike was also in retaliation for repeated Palestinian attempts to damage the border fence and “security infrastructure” during ongoing border protests.

At least 118 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip since mass protests and clashes broke out on March 30, according to figures from the Gazan health ministry.

No Israelis have been killed during that time.

Low-level demonstrations along the border have continued since protests peaked on May 14, when at least 61 Palestinians died as tens of thousands of Gazans protested the U.S. moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Abbas to stay in hospital

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ doctor has said the 83-year-old is staying in the hospital - abruptly reversing a previous announcement that he would be discharged.

Abbas was hospitalized last week with a fever, just days after undergoing ear surgery. Palestinian officials said he had pneumonia and was on a respirator, receiving antibiotics intravenously.

Yasser Abu Safiyeh initially said on May 26 that Abbas would be discharged, and the media were alerted to the hospital. Then the plan was nixed with no explanation offered.

Abbas, who is a heavy smoker and overweight, has a long history of health issues, ranging from heart trouble to a bout with prostate cancer a decade ago.

Abbas has no deputy. His latest health scare and sudden hospitalization revived anxiety over a potentially chaotic or even bloody succession battle.