Islamic Jihad vows revenge after three Palestinian teenagers killed by Israeli airstrike in Gaza

Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian militant group, has vowed revenge against Israel after three Palestinian teenagers were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza border. 

The Israeli military said the teens appeared to be planting an explosive at the border fence when they approached the area in the dark on Sunday night. 

“Three Palestinians approached the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip, attempted to damage it and were apparently involved in placing an improvised explosive device (IED) adjacent to it,” the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said. 

Palestinian political factions denied that the boys were planting explosives and said they were playing in an area close to their homes in southern Gaza.   

The teenagers were named in Palestinian media as Khaled Bassam Abu Said, Abdel-Hamid Mohammed Abu Daher, and Mohammed Ibrahim al-Satari. All three were 13 or 14.  

Their funerals are scheduled to take place on Monday. Aisha Abu Daher, the mother of Abdel-Hamid, said her son had “nothing to do with” militant groups. 

Islamic Jihad said it would carry out revenge attacks after three teenagers were killedCredit:
Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Israeli military said it did not have video or pictures to confirm its claim that the teenagers were planting an explosive.  

Islamic Jihad, the second largest militant group in Gaza after Hamas, promised revenge for the teenagers’ deaths, saying it would “respond to this crime in a way that suits its magnitude”. 

Islamic Jihad fired dozens of rockets into Israel on Friday night and Saturday morning, leading to a wave of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in response. 

No one was killed in the exchange and Egypt brokered a ceasefire between the two sides on Saturday afternoon to restore calm. 

Israel said Islamic Jihad fired the rockets “under the encouragement of Iran”, which funds the group as a proxy against Israel.

Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire during large scale demonstrations at the Gaza border fence on Friday afternoon. 

Islamic Jihad's rockets sparked a wave of Israeli air strikesCredit:
Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Violence in Gaza has flared and then calmed repeatedly in recent months, neither going completely quiet nor sparking a full scale war.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian and economic situation for Gaza’s two million residents remains dire, with unemployment at around 40 per cent. 

Israel has imposed a blockade which has strangled Gaza’s economy since 2007. 

Israel says the blockade is necessary to stop Hamas from attacking Israeli civilians and that the economic collapse is largely due to Hamas devoting funds to its military activities.   

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