Smoke rises following Israeli air strikes on Hamas sites in Gaza City on, 08 August 2018. Israel struck sites in the Gaza Strip after rockets were launched into Israel from territory under Hamas control. EPA-EFE/HAITHAM IMAD
Gaza, Aug 9 (efe-epa).- One Palestinian died Thursday and at least eight were wounded in Israeli reprisal bombardments after a new escalation of violence with the launching of 70 rockets from the Gaza Strip.
The Israelis attacked more than a dozen sites controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement, Palestinian medical sources said.
The fatality was identified as Ali Al Gandour, 30, who died in an Israeli airstrike in the northern part of the coastal Strip, Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al Quedra said, adding that eight other people were wounded in the intense series of bombardments in the zone.
The new spike in tension is a sharp setback for the recent attempts by Egypt to mediate a truce between Hamas and Israel.
The armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qasam brigades, declared in a statement that “in response to the current aggression, the armed Palestinian resistance in recent hours has bombarded the settlements (cities and communities) and the posts that are on the periphery of the Gaza Strip with a large number of rockets.”
Hamas chief Isam Daalees said in a statement that the Islamist militia “is ready and prepared to confront the attack,” adding that “the enemy must understand that he cannot unilaterally impose the rules of engagement and must bear the consequences of his stupidity.”
The Israeli army, meanwhile, reported that its strikes were directed at “12 terrorist posts in the Gaza Strip, including a cement factory, as well as a maritime tunnel” running along the coast “and several terrorist posts in military complexes,” among other targets such as “rocket manufacturing facilities and a central logistical military complex.”
Eleven of the rockets launched by Hamas into Israel were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, while most of the rest of them fell in uninhabited areas around the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said in a statement.
Three Israeli citizens were slightly wounded by shrapnel or broken windows in the city of Sderot, the Red Star of David medical service, Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross, said.
The rise in tensions comes at a time when it had seemed that Hamas, which has been in de facto control of the Gaza Strip since 2007, might reach a truce with Israel, given that Egypt, with United Nations help, had been mediating to achieve such an outcome for weeks.