Israeli tanks fired into the Gaza Strip today, with one shell hitting a civilian home and killing a Palestinian woman, one of several incidents of firing over the last two days which has experts calling this latest round the heaviest fire in the strip since Israel’s 2014 invasion.
The woman, identified as 54-year old Zeina al-Amour, is the only death so far in the firing, though at least five other Palestinians have been wounded, including three children who were wounded in overnight Israeli airstrikes against the strip.
Israeli military officials claim “at least 10” incidents of fire crossing the border from Gaza, including both rockets and bullets. So far, there are no reports of Israeli casualties in the clashes, which Hamas blamed on an Israeli incursion across the border.
Israeli troops were confirmed to be in the strip on Wednesday, and while they have reportedly withdrawn from the northern strip, there are still reports of Israeli forces inside the southern city of Rafah. Several exchanges of fire reportedly occurred wholly inside the strip.
Israel opened a Gaza border crossing on Tuesday, and almost immediately thereafter ended up launching strikes against the strip, an oddly timed sequence which seems to have come virtually out of nowhere.
During the 7 week 2014 invasion of Gaza, Israel killed some 2,200 Palestinians, overwhelmingly civilians. The Israeli government has repeatedly talked about the “next” Gaza War being much bloodier, with far more casualties, and officials always insist that the “next” war is only a matter of time. In recent years, Israel has launched a Gaza War of some sort about every other year, some larger than others.