GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli shellfire killed a Palestinian militant and wounded another in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Palestinian medical officials said.
The shelling, near the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, followed an upsurge in violence this past week along Israel’s border with the Hamas-ruled territory, and followed a clash on Tuesday along the Israeli border with Lebanon.
The Israeli military said aircraft fired on a group of Palestinians who had approached the Gaza border fence, where army patrols sometimes come under gun or bomb ambushes.
Israel has also voiced concern that Palestinian guerrillas could try to tunnel under the border to carry out attacks.
Palestinian medical staff said one militant was killed and at least one was wounded in the pre-dawn Israeli strike.
On Friday, a Hamas commander was killed in an Israeli air strike that was launched after a rocket fired from Gaza struck in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, causing no casualties but damaging property.
The Israeli-Gaza border had been largely quiet since a three-week war that ended in 2009.
In Tuesday’s clash on the Israel-Lebanon border, an Israeli officer, two Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed in the worst bloodshed since a 2006 war, raising concern new fighting may erupt between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.
Hezbollah and Hamas are supported by Iran whose Islamist government has been subjected to Western economic sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran to curb a nuclear program.