Gaza flare-up kills Israeli officer, 7 Palestinians

3 2017 shows a Palestinian woman preparing bread during the few hours of mains electricity supply they receive every day at Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Paris for World War I commemorations.

After the clash erupted, sirens were reported in southern Israel, indicating rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, AFP said.

Israeli gunfire has killed more than 220 Palestinians since the start of the demonstrations, which have included breaches of Israel's border fence.

Israel stressed its operation was an intelligence-gathering mission and "not an assassination or abduction".

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the operation was "not meant to kill or abduct terrorists but to strengthen Israeli security".

An Israeli ground operation to kill or abduct militants inside the Gaza Strip would be rare.

"This is happening at a delicate juncture in Hamas-Israeli relations", said Hugh Lovatt, a regional expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Israeli critics of the transfer say it will benefit Hamas, with some dismissing it as extortion by the militant group, which is sworn to Israel's destruction.

"Two of them were intercepted by the iron dome", he said of Israeli air-defense system.

Details were still emerging of the incident that Palestinian officials said occurred east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. He was identified as Nour Baraka. Barake and an additional commander were said to be killed in Khan Younes.

"During an (Israeli) special forces operational activity in the Gaza Strip, an exchange of fire evolved", the army said in a statement.

Netanyahu said earlier on Sunday that there is "No political solution exists for Gaza, just as there isn't one with ISIL" and that he is doing everything he can to avoid "unnecessary war".

"Everyone knows where that money is going to go ultimately", said Netanyahu's agriculture minister, Uri Ariel.

At the weekend, Israel allowed the transfer of a reported $15 million in cash to the Gaza Strip from Qatar, partly for the payment of wages to government employees.

More than 200 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces since the end of March - most during weekly protests along the border at which thousands have expressed their support for the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel.

An explosion is seen during Israeli air strikes in Gaza October 27, 2018. One Israeli soldier has been killed.

The internationally backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose forces lost control of Gaza to Hamas in 2007, angrily accused the USA and Israel of being involved in a "conspiracy" to permanently sever Gaza from the West Bank.

On Friday, Palestinian civil servants began receiving money tranches after months of sporadic salary instalments into the Palestinian enclave through Israel, reportedly in suitcases.

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