The Israeli military has carried out air raids targeting Hamas positions in the besieged Gaza Strip, injuring two people and causing damage, Palestinian media reported.
According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, Israeli warplanes fired a series of missiles on Saturday in the eastern, northwestern and central parts of the Gaza Strip, including open farmland, wounding a six-year-old girl and a man in his 20s.
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The attacks caused power cuts in the eastern parts and caused some damage to a children’s hospital, a centre for disabled people, and shattered the windows of some residential buildings, according to the reports.
However, Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee said on Twitter that the raids hit a rocket manufacturing site and a military post belonging to Hamas – the group that governs the Gaza Strip – adding that the attack had been carried out in response to rocket fire from Gaza.
According to the army, a rocket was fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Friday night, shortly after warning sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.
Israeli media said the projectile was intercepted by the army’s Iron Dome anti-missile air defence system.
In response to the rockets fired from Gaza toward Israel tonight, the Israeli Air Force struck Hamas terror targets including:
🎯A rocket manufacturing site
🎯A military post
Hamas will bear the consequences for all terror emanating from Gaza.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 25, 2020
No Palestinian group in Gaza has claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, which broke months of relative calm, but Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza, including those claimed by other fighter groups based in the enclave.
The impoverished and densely populated Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007, after Hamas took over the coastal enclave.
Hamas and Israel reached an agreement at the end of September to cease hostilities, although attacks continued.
The ceasefire followed a deadly surge in violence and was to see Israel allow new development projects, including an industrial zone and a hospital.
Hamas has accused Israel of not fully complying with the deal.
Israel, which deems Hamas a “terrorist” organisation, shuns direct negotiations and has never publicly acknowledged the truce.
Israel has launched three offensives against the Gaza Strip since 2008, and there have been numerous flare-ups.