July 20, 2018: Mahmoud Khalil Qishta, 23, a fighter with the al-Qassam Brigades, was killed by an Israeli missile fired by the Israeli airforce from a drone aircraft toward a site run by the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Mahmoud was one of three fighters killed by Israeli drone airstrikes in Rafah and Khan Younis targeting al-Qassam sites. The Al-Qassam Brigades issued a statement mourning Sha’ban Rajab Abu Khater, 26, and Mohammad Riyad Abu Farhana, 31, from Khan Younis, in addition to Mahmoud Khalil Qishta, 23, from Rafah. It said that the fighters were killed when the army fired missiles at observation posts in Rafah and Khan Younis.
That same day, an Israeli army sharpshooter shot Mohammad Sharif Badwan, 27, with a live round in the chest, east of Gaza City. Mohammad was killed while participating in the Great Return March procession, east of Gaza city, when the soldiers attacked the protesters with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, high-velocity gas bombs and concussion grenades.
The al-Qassam Brigades vowed fierce retaliation to the serious Israeli escalation, and said the “Israeli crimes are foolish acts, which will cause Israel to pay dearly.”
The bodies of the three Palestinians were severely mutilated by the Israeli missiles, and their remains were moved to the field clinic, east of Khan Younis.
Following the attack, Palestinian fighters exchanged fire with Israeli soldiers along the border areas, while the army fired more live rounds, in addition to several shells into northern Gaza.
Furthermore, the soldiers shot a child, 14 years of age, with a live round in the head, east of Khan Younis, during the Great March of Return Procession that afternoon, and fired many live rounds at homes, east of Abasan, east of Khan Younis.
The soldiers injured 120 Palestinians, and caused dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, along the eastern border areas, in the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday afternoon, the al-Qassam Brigades issued a statement saying that the Israeli missiles were fired at an observation post, east of Rafah, killing Abdul-Karim Ismael Radwan, 22, and wounding three others.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on July 20th, the day of the drone strikes, that Israel is planning an assault on Gaza, bigger than the Israeli war on the coastal region in 2014, in which 2100 Palestinians, including entire families, were killed, and thousands were injured.
According to local sources, hundreds of Gaza residents raced to the return camps along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, to protest non-violently, even as Israel threatened an all-out war.
Sources added that protesters set car tires on fire, in attempt to blur the vision of Israeli snipers with smoke and flames, while they proceeded with the march.
Mahmoud was from Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Source: IMEMC