Exchange of fire on Gaza border kills Palestinian, wounds 3 Israel soldiers

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A Palestinian who crossed the Gaza border into Israel overnight shot at Israeli troops, drawing return fire in an incident that left the Palestinian dead and three Israeli soldiers wounded, the army said on Thursday.

An Israeli tank also targeted a Hamas military post during the incident, Israel's military said in a statement.

It said an army officer was moderately wounded and two soldiers were lightly injured by the Palestinian's shooting in the area of the southern Gaza Strip.

There has been tension along the Gaza border since regular protests and clashes erupted there in March 2018.

At least 297 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza or the border area by Israeli fire since then, the majority during demonstrations and clashes.

Seven Israelis have been killed.

The protests have declined in intensity recently after a truce brokered by UN officials and Egypt.

Under the truce Israel agreed to take steps to ease aspects of its blockade on Gaza, which is ruled by Islamist movement Hamas.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

In another development, Israeli ministers have given rare approval to 700 Palestinian homes in areas in the West Bank under the country’s full control, while also approving 6,000 homes for settlers, an Israeli official said on Wednesday.

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