Leaders of various Palestinian factions and political powers, including Islamic Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad (Holy War), condemned on Monday the intensive Israeli army airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in response to earlier rockets firing into Israel.

Hamas Spokesman in Gaza Fawzi Barhoum said in an emailed press statement that the current Israeli army military escalation on the Gaza Strip “is dangerous and it should immediately stop,” adding “it’s an Israeli attempt to attract the world’s attention away from their crimes against the prisoners and Jerusalem.”

He said Hamas movement warns Israel of keeping up such stupidity, adding “blowing up the situation with the Palestinian armed resistance and targeting military and civilians interests would explode in the face of the occupation.”

Earlier on Monday, Abdulatif al-Qanou, another spokesman for Hamas in Gaza told Xinhua that his movement holds Israel fully responsible for the current military escalation on the Gaza Strip and it will be held responsible for the consequences.

“The occupation (Israel) is trying to export its internal corruption crisis to the Gaza Strip, therefore, the role of the Palestinian resistance (militant group) is to defend our people from this aggression,” he said.

The Hamas-run ministry of interior said that the Israeli army carried out 17 airstrikes and two ground shelling on the Gaza Strip, including three airstrikes in the early afternoon and 17 airstrikes on Monday evening. The Israeli airstrikes were a retaliation to earlier rockets firing.

Earlier on Monday morning, unknown militants fired two makeshift rockets from northeast Gaza into southern Israel. One landed at an empty area causing no harms and the other exploded into the air.

Immediately, Israeli tanks stationed on the borders with Gaza fired back and destroyed a Hamas military lookout post.

Later in the afternoon, Israeli war jets carried out three airstrikes on three facilities that belong to Hamas armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades.

Medical sources said that one Palestinian fisherman who was preparing to go fishing in northern Gaza, was lightly injured in one of the three airstrikes.

On Monday evening, Israeli war planes carried out 17 successive and intensive airstrikes on several training posts and facilities that belong to Hamas and other Gaza militant groups in the Gaza Strip that has been ruled by Hamas since 2007.

Dawood Shihab, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad, said that “Israel will be fully responsible for the consequences of its military aggression on the Gaza Strip today.”

However, the group’s spokesman announced that his group “is not interested in escalation and we won’t allow Israel to export its internal crisis to us by carrying out aggression and terrorism against our people,” adding that the Palestinian resistance is committed to the ceasefire in spite of the Israeli aggression.”

Both Shihab and Hamas spokesmen called on the international community to immediately intervene to halt the Israeli aggression on Gaza and on the Palestinian people.

They stressed that the Israeli aggression on the Palestinians “won’t break their determination to keep struggling until ending the occupation.”

Meanwhile, Fatah Party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli air attacks on the Gaza Strip, adding “it is a programmed Israeli attempt to mix up the papers and hide the daily crimes that Israel commits every day in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

It is the first time that Israel officially announces that a rocket fired from Gaza into Israel since October last year. In October, Israeli war jets carried out around 30 airstrikes on posts and facilities that belong to Hamas and other military groups.

In 2014, Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ending 50 days of a large-scale Israeli air and ground military offensive, waged on the Gaza Strip for 50 days, leaving around 2,200 Palestinians and 70 Israelis dead. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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