Six killed after Israeli incursion into Gaza Strip

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On Monday morning, Israel's senior leadership expressed its condolences for the loss of M., whose full name remains classified for security reasons.

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.

The Gaza Ministry of Health identified the two slain Palestinians as Mohammed Zakariya al-Tatari, 27, and Mohammed Zuhdi Odeh, 22 - adding that another three Palestinians had been wounded by Israeli strikes.

Two Palestinians were killed on Monday afternoon as Israeli air strikes hit the Gaza Strip and scores of rockets were fired from the besieged enclave.

Israel's army confirmed one soldier was killed and another was injured.

"An IDF Special Force operated tonight in a very meaningful operation to Israel's security".

The Hamas military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, said that in Sunday's incursion, Israeli undercover forces drove about 3 kilometers (2 miles) into southeastern Gaza and shot and killed Nour el-Deen Baraka, a mid-level commander in charge of a sensitive area in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis.

Local sources said that Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting southern Gaza, attacking Palestinians, who exposed an Israeli undercover unit that entered Gaza in an apparent attempt to abduct al-Qassam fighters.

Israeli critics, including members of Netanyahu's hard-line coalition, accused him of capitulating to violence and of granting relief to the embattled Hamas group. The Israeli military said at least 80 rockets were launched toward Israel.

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"Netanyahu says he wants to avoid a needless war and even facilitated a transfer of $15 million from Qatar to pay civil servants' salaries in Gaza".

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was holding consultations at Israel's military headquarters to discuss the situation, his office said in a statement.

Hamas won Palestinian elections in 2006 and reinforced its power in the Gaza Strip after ousting West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' rival Fatah faction in clashes the following year.

Shortly after the exchange of fire, air raid sirens sounded in southern Israel, indicating rocket fire from Gaza.

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

Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu defended his decision to allow the transfer of the Qatari money, rejecting criticism that the move had strengthened Hamas. IDF forces caught the infiltrator, who is being questioned by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008, and recent months of unrest have raised fears of a fourth.

At least 227 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, the majority shot during protests and clashes, since the demonstrations began, while others died in tank fire or air strikes.

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