Gaza border attack injures 4 Israeli soldiers, retaliation attack by IDF follows

Gaza city

Four Israeli soldiers on patrol were wounded on Saturday when an explosive device went off near southern Israel's border with Gaza, according to the Israeli military, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.

Earlier in the afternoon, an Israeli tank fired a shell at a Hamas military post in Gaza in retaliation for the same incident.

Earlier in the night one rocket fired from Gaza hit a house in the community of Sha'ar Hanegev, causing significant damage but no injuries.

In response, a tank struck an observation post in the vicinity believed to belong to the militant Palestinian faction, Islamic Jihad.

In total, 18 terrorist targets belonging to Hamas have been attacked by Israel since Saturday evening.

"The IED that wounded [four] IDF soldiers was placed under the cover of yesterday's riot, attached to a flag", Conricus said, adding that the IDF holds "Hamas responsible for all aggression from Gaza."

Spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip said two people were sent to the hospital with moderate injuries after the attacks.

However, while Hamas officials may claim the group desires no escalation, its actions make it clear there are other plans afoot.

This was the most serious attack since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza during the summer of 2014.

"Today's incident on the Gaza Strip border is severe".

The blast came amid warnings of an escalating tension in Gaza, where economic and humanitarian conditions have deteriorated, which could lead to a new armed conflict between Israel and Hamas, which still controls the territory.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot met with the head of the IDF's Southern Command and other senior officials to assess the current situation.

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