IDF soldier killed, another injured during Special Forces operation in Gaza

Residents from the south and activists from the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization block trucks entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing

Residents from the south and activists from the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization block trucks entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing

Israeli forces have killed at least six Palestinians, including a commander of the resistance movement Hamas, during an attack on the besieged Gaza Strip.

The fire was opened from a passing auto, a Hamas official told Reuters.

There have also been reports of Israeli warplanes targeting the area with some 40 missiles shortly after the incident. It was unclear if the other fatalities included gunmen.

Hamas said that an Israeli commando unit entered three kilometers (2 miles) into the strip near Khan Yunis in a civilian vehicle and shot dead Nour Baraka, the deputy commander of Hamas' military wing, the Qassam Brigade.

The Israeli military have acknowledged that the exchange of fire took place "during IDF operational activity" in the Gaza Strip, without providing details about the targets or the circumstances of the raid.

The Israeli military said militants launched 17 rockets from Gaza toward Israeli communities, where school was cancelled in response.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli forces during the Gaza protests in the past seven months, according to the enclave's health ministry.

Earlier, Gazan media outlets reported that Israel had agreed to allow Qatar to transfer funds to the Hamas government in the enclave to cover their civil servants' salaries for six months.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended his decision to enable Qatar to bring $15 million into Hamas-controlled Gaza for salaries, saying it would calm tensions and prevent a Palestinian humanitarian crisis.

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Also, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut off his visit in French capital Paris and returned to Israel Sunday night due to the deadly incidents, said his office.

Over 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the border protests, in which Palestinians throw rocks, burning tyres and grenades toward Israeli troops.

Residents of Israeli communities near Gaza said the scope of these airstrikes was exceptional and "sounded nearly like a war", Haaretz said.

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed in that time.

Manelis said the soldiers operating in Gaza overnight "became trapped in a highly complex situation but they had responded "heroically, hit those who threatened them and extracted themselves to Israeli territory".

"Everyone knows where that money is going to go ultimately", said Netanyahu's agriculture minister, Uri Ariel.

Netanyahu said the Israeli security establishment supported the move and that ministers in his security cabinet approved it.

The enclave with almost two million people has been under an air and sea blocakde imposed by Israel since 2007.

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