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Israeli fighter jet hits Hamas positions in northern Gaza Strip amid massacre of protesters

A file photo of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet

An Israeli warplane has targeted several positions of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement in the northern part of the besieged Gaza Strip where the Tel Aviv regime killed over 50 Palestinian demonstrators on Monday coinciding with the inauguration of US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds. 

According to a statement by the Israeli military on Monday, “a fighter jet struck five” positions “in a military training belonging to the Hamas … in the northern Gaza Strip” earlier in the day.

It added that the airstrike had been carried out in “response” to what it claimed to be “violent acts” allegedly conducted by Hamas “along the security fence”, which separates the blockaded enclave from the Israeli-occupied territories.

The statement further said that earlier an Israeli fighter jet and a tank had fired at other Hamas “military positions” after fighters of the movement purportedly opened fire at Israeli troops across the border.

Meanwhile, Washington, in a highly provocative move, relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, further fueling the rage of Palestinians against the occupying regime. The relocation, which has so far drawn international condemnations, was carried out five months after US President Donald Trump recognized the holy city as the “capital” of Israel, promising to move the US diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to the city.

The decision sparked outrage among Palestinians, who want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. Israel, on the other hand, lays claim over the whole city as its “capital.”

Among the participants in the inauguration ceremony were US President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband Jared Kushner, who has been tasked by Washington to negotiate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In the hours leading up to the inauguration, Israeli troops engaged in clashes with Palestinians taking part in mass protests on the Gaza border, killing at least 52 unarmed demonstrators, including Children and teenagers, with live fire. The Israeli soldiers also wounded some 2,400 others, either through direct shooting or firing tear gas canisters.

The Monday toll is the highest in a single day since a series of protests demanding the right to return to ancestral homes began on March 30.

The Palestinian government, based in the occupied West Bank, strongly condemned the “terrible massacre” in the besieged sliver.

The Turkish government also said in a statement that Washington has to “share responsibility” with Tel Aviv over Gaza “massacre.”

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Monday as “a day of shame” for Israel in which it “massacres countless Palestinians in cold blood as they protest in world's largest open air prison.”

The embassy inauguration also coincides with the climax of a six-week demonstration on the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), May 15, when Israel was created. Some 50 Palestinian protesters had also been killed in clashes with Israeli forces until Monday, during demonstrations along the Gaza border since March 30.

Israel has launched several wars on the Palestinian coastal sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.   

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.

In addition, the Israeli regime has imposed increasing power cuts and shortages in fuel in the sliver, hugely disrupting water and sanitation services. Medicines and health equipment are also in dire short supply, straining an already fragile health system.

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