Israeli air raids kill three Palestinians in Gaza Strip

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At least three Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike east of the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinians health officials.

Wednesday’s air raids also injured one person who is in critical condition, Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qudra, said.

Ahmed al-Bsous, 28, Ubadah Farawneh, 29 and Mohamed al-Aareer, 27, died of their wounds shortly upon arriving to the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. 

In a Twitter post, the Israeli military said it targeted seven Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip in response to a “shooting attack” that was fired towards soldiers at the border.

There has been no immediate comment from Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip. 

The attack comes days after a United Nations-brokered ceasefire helped halt an earlier wave of attacks that hit the besieged enclave last week.

The deal, also brokered by Egyptian officials, was designed to restore calm and end the Israeli onslaught on Hamas positions and other violence that resulted in the deaths of four Palestinians and one Israeli soldier on Friday.

Great March of Return

Hundreds of protesters had amassed near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Friday to commemorate more than 100 days since the start of the Great March of Return mass rallies.

Since the protests began on March 30, at least 138 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and more than 160,000 have been wounded.

Its main message is to call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants who were violently expelled from their homes in the territories taken over by Israel during the 1948 war, known as the Nakba.

The weekly rallies are also to protest a 12-year-old land, sea and air blockade imposed by both Israel and neighbouring Egypt.

‘Open-air prison’

The Gaza Strip is but one of the focal points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

More than two million Palestinians are packed into the Gaza Strip, which has been described as “the world’s largest open-air prison”.

Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but, citing security concerns, maintains tight control of its land and sea borders, which has reduced its economy to a state of collapse.

Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza on its border.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled since 2014 and Israeli settlements have expanded in occupied territory Palestinians intended to become part of their eventual state.

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