Israelis 'kill Hamas commander' in Gaza exchange of fire

3 2017 shows a Palestinian woman preparing bread during the few hours of mains electricity supply they receive every day at Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip

The IDF tweeted that Israeli missile defense systems have so far intercepted two projectiles coming from Gaza.

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.

Rocket-fire from Gaza and Israel air strikes against militant targets have been a regular occurrence.

The Israeli army confirmed a fire exchange took place, with local reports in Gaza saying that Israeli planes fired at the open area near the place of the incident.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cut his trip to Paris for World War I commemorations short to return to Israel after the violence erupted along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, a spokesperson said.

At least six people were killed including commanders Nour Baraka and Mohammad Al-Qarra, medical officials said. It was unclear if the other fatalities included gunmen.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced overnight Sunday that an Israeli soldier had been killed and another moderately injured in a Gaza ground operation earlier Sunday evening.

Hamas gunmen gave chase as the vehicle sped back towards the border with Israel, Hamas said in a statement.

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Fawzi Barhoum, spokesperson for Hamas, denounced what he called a "cowardly Israeli attack".

The blockade has led to over 50% unemployment, power outages, and prevents many Gazans from being able to leave the tiny territory. Over 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the border protests, in which Palestinians throw rocks, burning tires and grenades toward Israeli troops.

Israel says it is defending its border, but its army has come under worldwide criticism because of the large number of unarmed protesters who have been shot.

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.

Egypt, alongside United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nikolay Mladenov, has recently played a key role in attempts to mediate a ceasefire between Israel and the armed groups in the Strip.

Last week, Israel allowed Qatar to deliver $15 million in aid to Gaza's cash-strapped Hamas rulers.

"I'm doing what I can, in coordination with the security establishment, to return quiet to the southern communities, but also to prevent a humanitarian crisis", Netanyahu said, referring to Israeli towns near the Gaza border and deteriorating conditions in the enclave.

"Every action, without exception, has a price", he said. "When you take steps of leadership, if you can not bear the price, you can not lead. And I know how to bear the price".

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