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In Gaza 2 Palestinian militants killed by Israeli fire

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

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Palestinian mourners carry the coffin of 28-year-old Islamic Jihad member Abdul Haleem al-Naqa during his funeral in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip on May 27, 2018, after he was killed by Israeli tank fire targeting an observation post play

Palestinian mourners carry the coffin of 28-year-old Islamic Jihad member Abdul Haleem al-Naqa during his funeral in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip on May 27, 2018, after he was killed by Israeli tank fire targeting an observation post

(AFP)
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Israeli tank fire at an Islamic Jihad observation post killed two militants from the group in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, 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 on Saturday night, 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 US moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Israel says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop mass incursions into its territory.

It accuses Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence.

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