Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported that IDF troops shot at Palestinians who came near the security fence during a funeral procession held for two Islamic Jihad terrorists east of Gaza City.
According to the report, youths approached IDF observation towers during the funeral, and threw stones at them. Troops manning the posts opened fire in response. The sources claimed that three people were shot, and were taken to a hospital in the city in moderate condition.
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IDF officials confirmed that there were violent riots during the funeral during which the Palestinians came close to the fence. The IDF stated that the Palestinians ignored calls to move away from the fence after which the soldiers opened “deterring fire.”
Six mortars fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza at around noon Tuesday landed in open areas within the Negev's Eshkol Regional Council. One of the shells exploded inside a local community, but there were no reports of injury or damage.
The truce came into effect after four days of escalation in the south.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who toured Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, said "it is relatively quiet here. This may be the end of the latest round of violence, which showed that the IDF will strike anyone who attempts to act against us.
"Things can still unfold, but Israel will have all the freedom to operate against anyone who plots attacks against our citizens and soldiers," he warned.
Mourners fire in the air (Photo: Reuters)
Barak further stated that a fourth Iron Dome battery would be operational as early as next month.
Earlier Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said: “We are still monitoring the situation in the south and we need to see how it develops and whether the (rocket) firing really stops. It’s not over until it’s over. Quiet will be answered with quiet, and fire will be answered with fire.”
Riots in Gaza (Photo: Reuters)
Since the targeted assassination of the Popular Resistance Committee chief Zuhir al-Qaisi on Friday, no less than 170 rockets exploded in Israeli territory. The Iron Dome system intercepted another 56 rockets.
Meanwhile, the IDF carried out 37 strikes against targets within the Gaza Strip, including attacks on munitions warehouses and rocket-launching pads.
Yoav Zitun contributed to the report
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