Israel kills 17 in Gaza after troops die in clash

Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians, most of them civilians, in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip otoday, medical officials and witnesses said.

The attacks came after three Israeli troops died in a Hamas ambush near a border fuel pipeline. But despite the bloodiest day's toll in more than a month, Israel allowed European-funded fuel into Gaza to keep its only power plant operational.

"The fuel has started to go through," said the European Union official, referring to the Nahal Oz terminal, close to the scene of clashes in which the three soldiers died.

Seventeen Palestinians, at least 11 of them civilians, were killed in Israeli assaults, Hamas and medical officials said.

The dead included Fadel Shana, 23, a Reuters cameraman who was felled outside his car by a blast which locals described as an Israeli air strike. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she had no information on an air strike on a vehicle in the area.

At least three youths, a 67-year-old man, and four Hamas gunmen were also among the Palestinian dead.

Nahal Oz was shut down by Israel on April 9 after militants killed two Israeli civilians at the facility. Israel's Defence Ministry had said it would reopen the pipeline on Wednesday, but the latest attack had raised doubts fuel would flow again soon.

Kanan Abaid, deputy chairman of the Palestinian Energy Authority in the Gaza Strip, said before pumping resumed that the power plant only had enough fuel to operate until Saturday.

The EU official said the goal was to provide "as much (fuel) as can be possibly be pumped today" because the army had yet to tell the Europeans whether they would be allowed to make further deliveries to the plant on Thursday and Friday.

The plant supplies power mainly to residents of Gaza City and its surrounding areas, home to 800,000 people.

A strike by Gaza petrol station owners has been preventing distribution of limited Israeli supplies of gasoline and diesel to the general public.

Israeli officials accuse Hamas of preventing distribution of petrol and diesel in order to create a crisis to pressure Israel to ease a blockade it tightened after the Islamist group seized control of the territory in June.

In a development likely to stoke further anger in Israel, Hamas said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who planned to travel later in the day to Egypt, would meet in Cairo with two of its Gaza-based leaders, Mahmoud al-Zahar and Saeed Seyam.

"Mr Carter asked for the meeting. He wanted to hear the Hamas vision regarding the situation, and we are interested in clarifying our position and emphasising the rights of our people," Hamas official Ayman Taha said.

Carter's delegation in Israel declined to comment.

Zahar, speaking in Gaza before leaving for Egypt, said Carter had been able "to break all the restrictions preventing him from meeting Hamas leaders".

Israeli leaders have shunned Carter over his contacts with Hamas, which has rejected Western demands to recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept existing Israeli-Palestinian interim peace deals.

Carter, who began a Middle East visit on Sunday, said in Arab East Jerusalem it would be counterproductive to exclude Hamas completely from "conversations or consultations".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower