GAZA CITY (AFP) – Israeli troops killed a Palestinian gunman following a firefight in the north of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Monday, medics and the Islamic Jihad movement said.
Medics said Khaled al-Kafarneh, 22, was killed when an artillery shell hit his house in Beit Hanun.
The Islamic Jihad claimed in a statement that Kafarneh died in an Israeli air strike following an exchange of fire between the armed group and Israeli troops near the border fence.
“Following the firefight, helicopters intervened and fired two missiles,” the movement said, adding that one of its members was killed and another listed as missing.
The army said it was checking into the reports.
The violence comes as Egypt continued efforts to broker a lasting truce in the strip to replace shaky mutual ceasefires called by Israel and Hamas on January 18, ending Israel’s massive 22-day war on the Islamists’ stronghold.
An Israeli F-16 fired two missiles against a police post near the southern city of Khan Yunis, sparking a fire.
An Israeli helicopter also carried out a raid in a unpopulated area of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, but caused no casualties.
“Aircraft intervened against a Hamas position in Hamas near Khan Yunis and another at Beit Lahiya,” an Israeli military spokesman confirmed.
Palestinian militants fired two rockets on Sunday into southern Israel that caused no injuries, the spokesman said.
Militants have fired about 40 rockets and mortar rounds since the end of the war, which killed 1,330 Palestinian and 13 Israelis.
Israel, which launched its offensive on December 27 with the stated aim of stemming rocket attacks, has warned of “the severest riposte” to any further rocket fire.
Egypt has voiced hope that a Gaza truce accord between Israel and the Hamas can be reached in the next few days.
Israel has kept the densely populated territory closed to all but essential supplies since June 2007 when Hamas violently seized power, ousting forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.