By Nour Abu Aisha and Hani al-Shaer
GAZA CITY, Palestine
One Palestinian was martyred Thursday -- and three others injured -- in an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
“Martyr Abdel-Karim Radwan, 22, succumbed to injuries sustained as a result of the strike,” ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said in a brief statement.
“The three injured individuals, meanwhile, have since been taken to Gaza’s European Hospital for treatment,” he added.
In its own statement, the Israeli army confirmed the strike, saying: “An Israeli warplane targeted an activist cell that had been launching incendiary balloons near a Hamas position in the southern Gaza Strip.”
The army vowed to continue targeting what it described as “terrorist activities led by Hamas and any similarly dangerous activities”.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondents based in the area, an Israeli warplane fired at least two rockets at a guard post in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah.
In recent weeks, Palestinian activists in Gaza have been flying flaming kites and balloons over Israeli territory as part of ongoing popular rallies along the Gaza-Israel security fence.
According to Israeli officials, the improvised aerial weapons have caused numerous fires inside Israel, causing material damage -- in some cases -- but no deaths or injuries.
Since the rallies along the security fence first kicked off on Mar. 30, more than 140 Palestinian protesters have been martyred-- and thousands more injured -- by Israeli army gunfire.
Protesters demand the “right of return” to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of basic commodities.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.