GAZA CITY Israel says its fighter jets have struck 20 targets in the Gaza Strip, killing one Palestinian and injuring eight others.
According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, Naji Ahmad al-Zaneen, 25, was killed in the attack in northern Gaza early on Wednesday.
Among the wounded are six children who were on their way to school in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.
Palestinian sources said several rockets fired by Israeli warplanes targeted sites south of Gaza City, while another blast rocked the central region of the Gaza Strip. A powerful explosion also rocked Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
The Israeli army stated that it carried out air raids in response to a rocket that hit a home in Beersheba in southern Israel, causing damage but no injuries.
“At 4am [01:00 GMT] Israelis in the city of Beersheba were running to bomb shelters after a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel,” the Israeli army said on Twitter.
“We will defend Israeli civilians,” it added.
Israeli army said Hamas, which governs the besieged enclave, bears “full responsibility” for the rocket fire but the Palestinian movement denied their role.
In a joint statement with allied armed groups, Hamas said it rejected “all irresponsible attempts” to undermine Egyptian efforts to broker a new long-term truce.
It was one of the first rockets fired in months from the Palestinian territory under Israel’s devastating 11-year blockade and comes at a time of renewed tensions between Israel and Gaza.
Another rocket from Gaza reportedly fell into the sea near Tel Aviv. No injuries were reported.
The rocket was the first to hit an Israeli home since the 2014 devastating Israeli military assault on the besieged enclave.
It comes a day after Israel’s defence minister said the time had come to deliver a “heavy blow” to Hamas after the Israeli army killed seven Palestinians on Friday, including two teenage boys, during demonstrations along Israel’s separation fence.
It was unclear who fired the projectiles but the Israeli army says it holds Hamas accountable for what is happening in the territory under its control.
The rocket fire comes after months of demonstrations in Gaza by the Israeli separation fence.
The protesters are demanding to return to their homes in Israel, under the UN Resolution 194, which stipulates their right of return.
At least 70 percent of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees, their families expelled in 1948 for the creation of the state of Israel.
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