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Dublin: 23°C Friday 12 August 2022

Israel kills six Palestinians as Hamas leader declares new war

The deaths come after several Israelis were stabbed earlier this week.

Mideast Israel Palestinians Source: Associated Press

ISRAELI GUNFIRE KILLED six Palestinians and wounded dozens during clashes today near Gaza’s border, local medics have confirmed.

They are the first deaths related to unrest in Gaza, after days of violence in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The clashes came as Hamas’s chief in Gaza called the latest wave of violence an intifada, or uprising, and urged further unrest.

Ahmed al-Hirbawi, Shadi Dawla, Abed al-Wahidi and Nabil Sharaf, all aged 20, were killed when soldiers responded after youths threw stones at them on the Israel side of their common border east of Khan Yunis, in Gaza.

Mohammed al-Raqab, 15, and Adnan Abu Alian, 20, were killed in similar clashes east of Gaza City.

Medics said another 80 Palestinians were wounded, 10 of them seriously.

Mideast Israeli Palestinians Source: Associated Press

An Israeli army spokeswoman said about 200 Palestinians had approached the fence while hurling rocks and rolling burning tyres toward security forces.

Forces on the site responded with fire toward the main instigators to prevent their progress and disperse the riot.

The spokeswoman confirmed “five hits” without elaborating.

In a sermon for weekly Muslim prayers at a mosque in Gaza City, Hamas’s Gaza chief Ismail Haniyeh said “we are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the intifada.”

It is the only path that will lead to liberation. Gaza will fulfil its role in the Jerusalem intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation.

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Mideast Palestinians Hamas Anniversary File photo of Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas' leader in Gaza. Source: Associated Press

Stabbing attacks in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israel itself along with rioting have raised fears of a third Palestinian intifada, following a first that began in 1987 and a second in 2000.

The two conflicts cost the lives of some 5,000 Palestinians and around 1,100 Israelis.

Islamist movement Hamas rules Gaza, the enclave squeezed between Egypt and Israel and separated from the West Bank.

It remains deeply divided from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party.

Gaza has been the site of three wars with Israel since 2008, but had remained mainly calm amid the recent unrest in the West Bank and east Jerusalem until Friday.

Last summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza left more than 2,200 people dead and 100,000 homeless.

Read: Violent clashes rock one of the world’s holiest sites>

Explainer, July 2014: What is happening in Gaza?>

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