Israel bombs Gaza as rocket fire intensifies

Israel bombs Gaza as rocket fire intensifies

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Gaza City: The Army said that on Friday, Israeli warplanes bombed the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip when Palestinians fired rockets and bombs into southern Israel.

Parts of southern Israel are blocked by security forces.

Israeli aircraft conducted a raid on Gaza shortly after midnight on Thursday, and then again on Friday morning.

Israel said the bomb was a response to seven rockets launched from Gaza, six of which were intercepted by its air defense system.

Witnesses in Gaza said the rocket fired at the town of Sderot near the border.

The AFP photographer said that the uninterrupted rocket damaged the roof of a house in Sderot, but did not cause any casualties.

Since August 6, Israel has bombed Gaza almost every night in retaliation for launching balloons containing fire bombs or rare rockets toward the border.

Since the latest round of exchanges began two weeks ago, the number of rockets launched from Gaza is the largest in a day.

Hamas spokesman Faz Balhum said in a statement, “If the escalation continues, if the bombing and blockade continue, Hamas will fight the enemy without hesitation.”

He added: “If the Israeli occupation continues to invade… it must pay a price.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz this week accused Hamas of “playing with fire” and warned Israel that it will respond to “any attack on its sovereignty.”

Israel has also strengthened a 13-year blockade of 2 million residents of Gaza.

The country banned Gaza fishermen from going to sea and closed their transit goods with the territory, prompting the only power plant in Gaza to shut down due to lack of fuel.

The retaliation came after the Egyptian delegation shuttled between the two sides in an attempt to facilitate the return of an informal truce.

In recent years, Egypt has taken action to quell repeated outbreaks in order to prevent any repetition of the three wars between Israel and Hamas since 2008.

Multi-million dollar financial aid from Qatar to Gaza strengthened the recent ceasefire, which has been renewed several times.

The ceasefire agreement provides Gazans with permits to work in Israel and provides funding for Gaza development projects. Both measures will provide certain economic relief in poverty-stricken areas where the unemployment rate exceeds 50%.

According to sources close to Hamas, the movement hopes to expand the industrial zone in eastern Gaza and build a new power line.

The source said that Hamas also hopes that once restrictions on the coronavirus are lifted, the number of work permits for Gazans will double to 10,000.

Sources told Agence France-Presse that dual problems are the root cause of the recent outbreak.

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