Israeli air raids on five areas within Gaza have killed nine Palestinian militants.

Hamas said that six militants were killed in a single air strike at Rafah, near the Egyptian border, and two more in another air raid near a refugee camp in central Gaza.

The Israeli Defence Force describe the air raids as a defensive action in response to Hamas militants firing rockets into Israel from Gaza.

The air strikes come amid increased tensions between Israelis and and Palestinians after the murder of Israeli teenagers Naftali Frankel, Gil-ad Sha’er, and Eyal Yifrach in the West Bank and the ‘revenge murder’ of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdair in Jerusalem last week.

In the days following the discovery of the bodies of the three Israeli teens, Israel arrested hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The forces have been accused of police brutality and an investigation has been launched after a video emerged online of a Israeli forces heavily beating a handcuffed Palestinian teen.

On Sunday, police arrested six extreme nationalist Israelis in connection with the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdair after another video was published online showing the boy being kidnapped and bundled into a car by four men. A preliminary post mortem found that Khdair was likely burned alive by his captors.

In a televised address, Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:

“We will not allow extremists, it doesn’t matter from which side, to inflame the region and cause bloodshed”

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