One Palestinian killed as Israel and Gazans trade strikes


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel and Gaza Palestinians traded attacks on Thursday, with a 22-year-old Palestinian man reported to be killed in a retaliatory strike by Israel.

In the latest salvo, a rocket fired from Gaza at southern Israel in the afternoon set off alerts that sent thousands of border area residents running to protected areas. The rocket landed next to a cowshed in the Eshkol Regional Council.

The Israel Defense Forces responded by firing tank shells at a Hamas observation point in southern Gaza.

The rocket was fired from Gaza more than an hour after an Israeli airstrike on a group of Palestinians launching arson balloons into Israel. That strike killed the man and injured three others, one critically, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported, citing the European Hospital in Rafah.

Following the airstrike, two mortar shells were fired from Gaza at Israeli soldiers guarding the border fence.

At least 14 fires were started Thursday by the balloons carrying incendiary material, Ynet reported.