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New Israeli raids target southern Gaza, Palestinians' air defenses fire back

This picture provided by Palestinian media shows the moment Israeli warplanes struck targets in southern Gaza Strip on December 3, 2022.

Israel's aircraft have targeted several positions in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, claiming that the new assault is in response to alleged rocket fire from the direction of the blockaded coastal sliver earlier on Saturday.

Various Palestinian media outlets reported the offensive early Sunday, identifying the targets as an area located west of the city of Khan Yunis and a farmland east of the city of Rafah.

The Israeli military, however, described the targets as sites belonging to the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement.

The Palestinian media also reported that resistance groups' anti-aircraft artillery confronted the Israeli raids in Khan Yunis, firing at the regime's aircraft.

In addition, Palestinian resistance groups fired five rockets from Gaza toward the occupied territories, two of which landed in an open area in Eshkol.

Al-Qassam Brigades, which is the military arm of Hamas, issued a statement later, saying, "Our air defenses responded at dawn today, Sunday, to the hostile Zionist warplanes in the skies of the Gaza Strip, with surface-to-air missiles."

Before the attack, the Israeli military alleged that a rocket had been fired from the enclave towards the occupied territories without causing any casualties.

No person or group has yet claimed responsibility for the alleged firing of the projectile.

The Islamic Jihad, Hamas' fellow Gaza-based resistance movement, had warned the regime, though, that it would avenge its earlier killing of two of its senior figures in the city of Jenin in the north of the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank.

The current year has proven the deadliest for Palestinians since 2005, when the United Nations began keeping a record of the Palestinian fatalities.

More than 210 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the Israeli regime's deadly acts of aggression throughout Gaza and the West Bank since the beginning of the year. The number includes scores of women and children.

The Israeli regime occupied the Palestinian territories during a heavily Western-backed war in 1967.

Ever since, it has been dotting the West Bank with hundreds of settlements, which have come to house thousands of settlers, and imposing draconian restrictions on the Palestinians' freedom of movement there.

Tel Aviv withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but has been keeping the coastal strip under intermittent and indiscriminate airstrikes as well as an all-out and crippling land, aerial, and naval siege.

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