News / Middle East

    Israeli Civilian, Palestinian Girl Killed in Gaza Flare-Up

    A member of Palestinian civil defense extinguishes a fire at a Hamas training camp after it was hit by an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Dec. 24, 2013.
    A member of Palestinian civil defense extinguishes a fire at a Hamas training camp after it was hit by an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Reuters
    A Gaza sniper shot dead an Israeli civilian over the border on Tuesday and Israel hit back with air strikes on two Hamas training camps which hospital officials said killed a Palestinian girl near one of the targets.
     
    The Israeli man, who the military said was working on Israel's security fence, was the first Israeli killed on the Gaza frontier in more than a year.
     
    His death, which drew a swift threat of retaliation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, came amid heightened tensions after two suspected Palestinian attacks - a bus bombing near Tel Aviv on Sunday that caused no casualties and the wounding of an Israeli policeman in a stabbing on Monday.
     
    Officials from Hamas, the Islamic group which rules Gaza, and witnesses said Israeli aircraft bombed the group's training camps in Khan Younis and al-Bureij. Witnesses said Israeli tanks fired shells east of Gaza city.
     
    Gaza hospital officials said a girl, whom they estimated was two-years-old, was killed by shrapnel during the Israeli strike on the Bureij facility.
     
    She was standing with other family members outside their home near the camp and two of her brothers were wounded, the officials said.
     
    Earlier, a Palestinian was killed in a separate incident in northern Gaza, hospital officials said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said he was handling an explosive device near the security fence and that soldiers fired at him after warnings.
     
    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the sniper attack, which followed a Palestinian rocket strike on southern Israel on Sunday that caused no casualties.
     
    “This is an extremely grave incident and we will not ignore it,” said Netanyahu, who was visiting the southern town of Sderot, about a kilometer [half a mile] from the Gaza border, at the time of the shooting.
     
    “Our policy has been to thwart [Palestinian attacks] and to respond [to them] forcefully, and that is what we will do in this case,” he said, referring to the shooting, in a statement released by his office.
     
    • Palestinians inspect a house that witnesses said was damaged in an Israeli strike, in the central Gaza Strip, Dec. 25, 2013.
    • Palestinian children inspect a house that witnesses said was damaged in an Israeli strike in the central Gaza Strip, Dec. 25, 2013.
    • Mourners react at a mosque during the funeral of a three-year-old Palestinian girl, who medics said was killed by shrapnel from an Israeli strike, in the central Gaza Strip, Dec. 25, 2013.
    • Bedouins sit near the gravesite of Salah Abu Latif during his funeral in Rahat in southern Israel, Dec. 25, 2013.
    • Israeli army paramedics treat a civilian shot near the Israel and Gaza border who eventually died of his wounds, Dec. 24, 2013.

    However, since an eight-day war in November 2012, both Israel and Gaza's Hamas Islamist rulers have been wary of taking military action that could trigger widescale fighting.
     
    No one was hurt in Sunday's bomb blast on the bus, which  had been evacuated after the explosives were spotted, and the wounded policeman was expected to recover.
     
    But the incidents, which Israel blamed on Palestinian militants, fuelled concerns of a new Palestinian uprising as peace talks show few signs of progress.
     
    Hamas praised Sunday's bus bombing - the first in Israel in more than a year - but stopped short of claiming responsibility.
     
    Violence in the West Bank has increased in recent months. At least 19 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed in the occupied territory since the U.S.-brokered talks on Palestinian statehood resumed in July after a three-year break.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora