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STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT INTERNATIONAL-Two Palestinians were killed on Sunday by Israeli security forces after attempting to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian medical and Israeli security forces confirmed the incident took place.
The Israeli army in a statement accused the Palestinians of attempting to “infiltrate” the Israeli border with Gaza.
The army said its forces “fired towards three suspects who attempted to infiltrate into Israel from the southern Gaza Strip and to damage security infrastructure,” killing two of the suspects.
Gaza’s health ministry confirmed the deaths, identifying the casualties as Abdel Rahman Qudeih, 23, and Mohammed Abu Rayda, 20.
The incident raised to 51 the toll of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since protests and clashes began along the Gaza border on 30 March.
Gunfire has wounded hundreds more on Israel’s border with Gaza.
No Israelis have been hurt in the weeks of protests. The military has faced international criticism for its use of live ammunition.
Israeli air strikes on Hamas outpost
Overnight Israel struck a facility belonging to Hamas in reaction to kite-borne fire bombings, which have caused significant damage to Israeli fields.
A military spokeswoman said the action was a direct response to a new Palestinian tactic of flying kites attached with firebombs across the Gaza border into Israel to set farmers’ fields alight.
“Last night in the Gaza Strip,” the spokeswoman told AFP referring to the timing of the strike, without describing the target.
Hamas’s Ezzedine al-Qassam military wing brigades said in a statement that the strike was against a border observation post and that nobody was injured in the attack.
“The strike was in response to an incident that took place in Israel,” said the Israeli spokeswoman.
Demonstrators are demanding the right to return to their homes in Israel, which Israel argues would effectively spell the end of their country as a Jewish state.
Hamas has blamed Israel for an explosion that killed six Hamas fighters in an explosion in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday, without providing details or proof. Israel has denied any involvement in the blast.
Some past explosions in the Gaza Strip have resulted from the accidental detonation of explosive materials belonging to militant groups.