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Apt, swift Hamas response to stop Israeli aggression: Spokesman

The photo, taken on July 14, 2018, shows smoke plumes rising following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says its swift and appropriate response to Israel’s most recent aerial aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip is meant to stop the attacks, adding that this shows the resistance movement’s constant vigilance and clear vision in managing the fight against the Tel Aviv regime.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum made the remarks in a statement released on Saturday, several hours after Israeli warplanes launched a predawn attack against 40 purported Hamas positions in the southern Gaza Strip.

Israeli military aircraft also fired three missiles at Salahuddin military site in the central Gaza Strip, before pounding an open area near Queen roundabout east of Gaza City.

Additionally, Israeli aerial attacks targeted a Hamas site in the city of Beit Lahia, located about five kilometers north of Gaza City.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, at least two Palestinian teens lost their lives in the Israeli airstrikes and 14 other people sustained injuries.

Hamas was quick in retaliatory attacks against Israeli positions in the occupied Palestinian territories when it launched 90 rockets. The Israeli military claimed that its so-called Iron Dome missile defense system had managed to intercept 16 of the projectiles.

Early in the morning, the Israeli military said in a statement that at least one Hamas rocket landed inside a rural settlement in Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council area.

Israeli media reported that more than 140 rocket alarm sirens also sounded throughout communities near the Israel-Gaza border from midnight into the morning.

Saturday’s exchange of missiles and rockets is considered as the biggest since the 2014 Israeli war on the impoverished sliver. The war began in early July and ended in late August the same year. The Israeli military aggression killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and injured over 11,100 others.

“Hamas wants to force the Israeli regime to stop and discontinue its attacks against the Gaza Strip through making swift and appropriate response to the aggression,” Barhoum further said, adding that defending the Palestinian people and cause is what the whole Arab nation wants and is a strategic option for the resistance.

Meanwhile, Abdul Latif al-Qano, another spokesman for Hamas, said that “the escalation and intensification of Israel's aggression will not dictate a new agenda," adding that it would not "stop the procession of return. Resistance forces will not let Israel continue attacking the Palestinian people, and we will also be ready to respond.”

The Israeli regime’s warplanes have repeatedly hit various parts of the Gaza Strip during the past decade. Hamas has time and again stressed that the movement has a legitimate right to respond to any Israeli aggression against the people of Palestine.

Palestinians in Gaza have been rallying every Friday since March 30 as a part of a peaceful campaign known as the Great March of Return. So far, Israeli forces have killed about 140 Palestinians, including over a dozen children, and injured hundreds of others during the rallies.

On May 14, Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians who had gathered near the Gaza fence to protest the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds. Over 60 Palestinians were shot dead and more than 2,700 were wounded by Israeli snipers who had been positioned along the fence.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said children in the Gaza Strip are the main victims of Israeli atrocities, where some 1.8 million people are living under a crippling blockade.

Gaza has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.

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