Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in border clashes

Palestinians check the site of an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip March 7, 2019 (AFP Photo/SAID KHATIB)
 A Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli fire during renewed clashes along the Gaza border, the enclave\’s health ministry said Thursday, with Israeli aircraft striking Hamas positions in response to the violence.
Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said Saif al-Deen Abu Zeid, 15, died "due to wounds sustained east of Gaza (City)" on Wednesday night.
The teenager was shot during clashes along the border, Qudra told AFP.
An Israeli army spokeswoman did not comment on the specific incident but said hundreds of "rioters" had hurled rocks and explosive devices at troops along the border.
Soldiers responded in line with "standard operating procedures", she said.
Israeli fighter jets later struck several sites belonging to Gaza\’s Islamist rulers Hamas in the south of the enclave, the army said in a statement.
The military said the strikes were "in response to balloons carrying explosive devices and a projectile launched from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory".
A Palestinian security source said a Hamas base was struck in southern Gaza, causing damage but no injuries.
It was the sixth such Israeli air raid since Saturday in response to a spate of balloon-borne explosive devices floated across the border or devices hurled at the border fence.
The army reported later Thursday that one of its tanks hit a Hamas position in northern Gaza after shots were fired at its troops.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing a tough challenge at April polls, said: "Hamas must understand that any act of violence will provoke a stronger reaction from Israel."
The uptick in violence has raised fears that a fragile truce agreed in November between Israel and Hamas could collapse, with both sides accusing the other of breaching the terms of the informal deal.
Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 and has since fought three wars with Israel.
At least 252 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the majority shot during border protests, while others have been hit by tank fire or air strikes.
Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.
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