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Two Palestinians killed in Israel airstrike, Gaza officials say

An Israeli airstrike in Gaza has killed two Palestinians, security officials have said.

The airstrike hit a base of Hamas’s military wing in Nusseirat in the central Gaza Strip.

Security officials of the territory’s Palestinian Islamist rulers said two people had died in the strike.

It comes amid protests across Palestinian territories after President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Two Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli army in the clashes earlier on Saturday morning.

They were named as Abdullah al-Atal, 28 and Mohammed al-Safdi, 30 by the Hamas health ministry.

The ministry said the bodies of the two men were recovered several hours after the pre-dawn strike, in Nusseirat, central Gaza.

A Hamas source is understood to have confirmed they were members.

It follows three rocket attacks overnight on Friday from Gaza to southern Israel.

An army statement said: “Today… in response to the rockets fired at southern Israeli communities throughout yesterday, Israel air force aircraft targeted four facilities belonging to the Hamas terror organisation in the Gaza Strip.”

Palestinian protestors evacuate an injured protestor during demonstration at the Gaza side of the Israel-Gaza border
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Palestinian protestors evacuate an injured protestor during demonstration at the Gaza side of the Israel-Gaza border

The targets were two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse, and a military compound.

Violence has erupted after US President Donald Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Overnight on Friday, Israel responded to three rockets being fired from Gaza with airstrikes it said targeted a Hamas training compound and ammunition warehouse.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said 25 people were wounded in the strikes, six of them children.

On Saturday morning, Mahmoud al Masri, 30, and 54-year-old Maher Atallah were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces.

A third man was in a “very critical” condition after being shot in the head.

The Israeli military said in a statement that soldiers had “fired selectively at two main instigators” and confirmed hitting them.

Palestinians had declared Friday a “day of rage”, with protests in cities including Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza’s Khan Younis, where Mahmoud al Masri was killed and at least 40 others were wounded.

Palestinian protesters burn the US and Israeli flags in Gaza City
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Palestinian protesters burn the US and Israeli flags in Gaza City

Mr Trump’s decision has received widespread condemnation, with leaders including Theresa May, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin all speaking out.

At the UN on Friday, traditional US allies criticised the move.

Britain’s UN ambassador Matthew Rycroft said it was “unhelpful to peace”, while Italy’s Sebastiano Cardi voiced fears of “the risk of unrest and tensions in the region”.

In response, US ambassador Nikki Haley said Washington is more committed to peace “than we’ve ever been before – and we believe we might be closer to that goal than ever before”.

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