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Israeli warplanes attack over two dozen targets in Gaza Strip

An explosion is seen in northern Gaza City after an airstrike by Israeli jets on June 20, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli fighter jets have conducted fresh airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, hitting 25 targets across the blockaded Palestinian territory.

The Israeli army said in a statement that the targets hit early Wednesday were military compounds belonging to the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, which runs Gaza.

However, a Gaza medical source said the Israeli strikes had struck empty sites, including some already hit in recent weeks. 

The town of Rafah in southern Gaza was among the targets of the Israeli air force.

According to sources in Gaza, four people have been wounded in the attacks.

“The sounds and explosions reminded us of the nights of summer of 2014,” a Gaza resident told the Israeli daily Haaretz, referring to the 2014 Israeli offensive on the coastal sliver, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.

Elsewhere in its statement, the Israeli army said its air raids came in response to rocket fire from Gaza to the occupied territories.

It also claimed that Israeli “Iron Dome” missile system had intercepted seven out of some 45 rockets fired from Gaza late Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Eshkol regional council said three projectiles had fallen inside populated communities, with one causing damage to buildings and vehicles. 

Hamas said in a statement that the rocket fire came in response to earlier Israeli aerial assaults against Gaza, stressing that the resistance movement reserves the legitimate right to retaliate against any act of aggression by the occupying enemy.

Israel carries out regular air raids on Palestinians in Gaza, which has also been under an inhumane Israeli siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008.

Tensions have been running high along the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

Over 130 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more wounded in the violent crackdown.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a report to the Security Council obtained by The Associated Press on Monday that he is “shocked” by Israeli troops’ use of live fire against the Gazans.

The escalation of violence in Gaza is “a warning to all how close to the brink of war the situation is,” Guterres pointed out.

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