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
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor