A Qassam fighter has been reportedly killed and another wounded after the Israeli army artillery shelled a number of Palestinian resistance fighters to the east of Gaza city, late on Saturday night.

Palestinian medical sources said that a dismembered corpse of a Palestinian man and two wounded, were admitted to the aL-Shifa hospital in Gaza city.

The sources diagnosed that the cause of such causalities is an artillery shelling.

Witnesses said that the Israeli tanks, stationed on the Gaza-Israel border line to the east of Gaza, opened heavy fire towards a group of Palestinian fighters, comprised of some resistance factions involving the Qassam brigades of the ruling Hamas party.

This new fresh Israeli attack on Gaza comes hours after media reports said that the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, gestured an imminent massive military attack on the Gaza Strip.

The likely attack on Gaza, according to the sources, will include reoccupying large parts of the northern Gaza Strip for a prolonged period of time as well as a carrying out a series of pinpoint attacks against Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza.

This Tuesday, an Israeli inner security cabinet meeting will discuss a military offensive on Gaza, in what Israel says an ‘imperative’ to end the homemade shells fire from Gaza onto nearby Israeli towns.

The said developments come as the Egyptian-mediated truce efforts between Israel and the Palestinians are yet to achieve any progress, as Israel demands Hamas to release a captured Israeli soldier and stops what Israel believes’ arms smuggling through underground tunnels’ on Gaza-Egypt border lines.

The Israeli threats for Gaza, also come in the backdrop of a recent Fatah-Hamas rapprochement following President Mahmoud Abbas’s reiterated call for both parties to reconcile, based on March’s Yemeni initiative.

In June2007, Israel imposed a crippling closure on the Gaza Strip after the democratically-elected Islamist Hamas party seized control of Gaza, amidst a factional fighting with the secular Fatah party of Abbas.

Israel, United States and many international players have been demanding Hamas to comply with three main conditions since the party has reached power; laying down arms, recognizing Israel and accepting previously signed peace agreements with Israel.