World, Middle East

Israeli warplanes strike Hamas sites in Gaza: Witnesses

Jets reportedly target sites associated with Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas

05.10.2016
Israeli warplanes strike Hamas sites in Gaza: Witnesses FILE PHOTO

Palestinian Territory

By Anees Bargouthi

GAZA CITY 

Israeli warplanes struck several positions in the blockaded Gaza Strip on Wednesday, according to eyewitnesses.

Israeli army jets targeted the Al-Qudisiya command post, which belongs to the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, in the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Khan Younis, eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency.

The Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades is the armed wing of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, which has governed the strip since 2007.

Eyewitnesses, who spoke anonymously due to fears for their safety, also said that Israeli warplanes had struck empty agricultural land east of Gaza City.

The air raids came shortly after Israeli forces reportedly shelled a number of Al-Qassam command posts in the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli shelling was in ostensible retaliation for a rocket allegedly fired shortly before into southern Israel from inside the strip.

Early on Wednesday, the Israeli army said in a statement that a rocket fired from the besieged coastal enclave had exploded in Israel’s southern city of Sderot.

In July and August of 2014, Israel waged a weeks-long military offensive against the Gaza Strip with the ostensible aim of staunching rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.

Over 2,160 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed -- and another 11,000 injured -- during the onslaught.

According to official Israeli figures, 73 Israelis -- mostly soldiers -- were killed in the 51-day conflict.

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