Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Netanyahu defends the transfer of $15m to Hamas militants

Netanyahu defends the transfer of $15m to Hamas militants

In a statement early Monday, the Israeli military said an officer was killed and another one was moderately injured during "an operational activity" in southeast Gaza Strip in which an exchange of gunfire was evolved.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose to cut short his visit to Paris for events marking 100 years since the end of World War I due to events that transpired in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, officials said.

An exchange of fire followed in which local Al-Qassam commander Nour Baraka was killed along with another militant, it said. It was not immediately clear where the others had landed.

Six Palestinians were killed in Gaza after Israeli forces entered the coastal enclave.

According to Israeli media report, army officials said that the Special Forces penetrated the eastern fence near Khan Younis to carry out a "complicated intelligence operation". Israeli critics of the transfer say it will benefit Hamas, with some dismissing it as extortion by the militant group, which is sworn to Israel's destruction.

Al Qassam Brigades, Hamas armed wing, said in a brief statement that Israeli special units infiltrated Sunday evening by a auto into Ismail Abu Shanab Mosque area three kilometers in depth of east of Khan Yunis and assassinated Nour Baraka one of Qassam leader.

Palestinians inspect the remains of a vehicle that was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 12, 2018.

Army spokesperson Ronen Manelis said the troops "became trapped in a highly complex situation" but "heroically hit those who threatened them and extracted themselves to Israeli territory".

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"Israeli political dynamics may have played a part in tonight's operation", said Lovatt of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Palestinian officials said that in addition to Baraka, five other Hamas men and a member of the Popular Resistance Committees were killed.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, denounced a "cowardly Israeli attack".

But details of the raid, including the full identity of the officer killed during the mission, remained subject to military censor.

Netanyahu, who attended World War I commemorations in Paris and was to meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, arrived back home and convened a meeting of security chiefs.

The clash comes after months of deadly unrest along the Gaza-Israel border, which had appeared to be calming. The blockade has led to over 50 percent unemployment and chronic power outages, and prevents the vast majority of Gazans from traveling. Hamas responded by lowering the intensity of the border protest last Friday.

"Several alarms have sounded in southern Israel".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended his decision to permit Qatar to pay the salaries of thousands of Gaza civil servants, saying he deems it to be "the right step", which would essentially calm tensions and help avoid a Palestinian humanitarian crisis.

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