Israeli army kills four Palestinians in Gaza

Gaza: The Israeli army has said its troops shot dead four Palestinians near the boundary area between Gaza and Israel on Saturday morning.

According to a statement by the military, the four men were heavily armed with assault rifles, anti-tank missiles and hand grenades, one of which was hurled at Israeli troops.

The Israeli army opened fire when one of the men crossed into Isreal, it said. No casualties were reported in Israeli ranks. 

No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility.

Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel over the past decade. The group issued a statement on Saturday denying its involvement, describing the four men’s actions as an “individual act by angry youths”. 

Spokesman Abdel-Latif al-Qanou added that Israel was “responsible for the state of anger and pressure inflicted on our people due to the continued siege on Gaza.”

Palestinians have staged weekly protests along the line dividing Gaza and Israel since March 2018 against the Gaza Strip’s dire conditions resulting from 12 years of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. 

At least 301 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza or the boundary area since then, the majority during demonstrations. Seven Israelis have also been killed.