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Israel launches fresh airstrikes on Gaza Strip, prompting retaliatory attacks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows flames rising during Israeli airstrikes against a site belonging to the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement in the western part of the Gaza Strip. (By Anadolu news agency)

Israel has carried out new airstrikes against several areas across the Gaza Strip, triggering retaliatory rocket fire from Palestinian resistance groups based in the besieged enclave.

Israeli warplanes pounded targets in the center of Gaza City on Thursday, Palestinian media outlets reported, adding that the resistance groups’ anti-aircraft defense systems intercepted the regime’s fighter jets.

The Israeli military claimed in a statement that it struck a weapons manufacturing site belonging to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in the central Gaza Strip after confirming that it is “striking in” the coastal enclave.

It further said the strikes came in response to a rocket launch from the Gaza Strip into Israeli communities a day earlier.

Local sources and witnesses said that the first Israeli strike – out of at least seven – hit a training center belonging to the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.

A second round of Israeli airstrikes targeted the resistance’s training center southwest of Gaza City, they added.

In response, the resistance groups fired a barrage of retaliatory rockets at illegal Israeli settlements surrounding the besieged Gaza Strip. Rocket sirens blared in the town of Sderot following the strikes, according to the Israeli military.  

The latest development comes almost a week after the Israeli military pounded areas west and south of Gaza, including posts belonging to the Palestinian resistance.

The strikes were carried out after at least 10 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, including a 61-year-old woman.

Last Thursday, more than 70 Israeli armed vehicles and hundreds of the regime’s soldiers stormed Jenin and the neighboring refugee camp, while Israeli snipers were deployed on rooftops and heavily armed soldiers opened fire at Palestinian youths who tried to block their way. Ten Palestinians were killed in the attack. 

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement vowed to respond to the raid.

According to reports, more than 30 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of 2023.

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