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Zionist regime artillery shells two Hamas positions in southern Gaza Strip

Zionist regime's artillery units have struck the southern flank of the besieged Gaza Strip as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with its acts of aggression against the impoverished Palestinian coastal enclave.

The Palestinian Information Center, citing local sources, reported that Israeli tanks positioned at the fence separating the Palestinian sliver from the occupied territories opened fire and struck an observation point east of Khuza’a town early on Saturday.

The sources added that Israeli forces targeted another observation point east of Karam Abu Muammar neighborhood on the outskirts of the border town of Rafah.

The report said the attacks did not cause any casualties.

The Israeli army later said in a statement that its tanks had attacked military positions belonging to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip.

“The attack was carried out in response to the launch of rockets from Gaza Strip territory into Israeli territory during the night,” the Israeli army claimed in the statement.

On Friday, Hamas movement threatened the Israeli regime against continued aggression against the Gaza Strip.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said in a press statement that “the resistance front (Hamas and other resistance groups) won’t hesitate to join a battle against Israel in case the regime keeps on striking the Gaza Strip.”

“The Israeli occupation, which continues its aggression on Gaza, tightens its siege, disturbs the lives of ordinary people and shells resistance posts, should bear the consequences and pay the price,” Barhoum pointed out.

‘Palestinians have been bombed every day since UAE-Israel deal’

Meanwhile, a British-Palestinian political commentator has argued that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been bombed every day ever since the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel agreed to establish full formal diplomatic relations last week.

“For the past 10 days, Israel has bombed Gaza every night, terrorizing the population. In addition, the only surviving electricity power plant has run out of fuel, plunging the tiny strip into darkness and impacting on all aspects of normal life,” Kamel Hawwash, who is also the Vice Chair of the British Palestinian Policy Council (BPPC), told Turkey’s English-language TRT World television news network on Friday.

“The recent agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE has not brought peace to the strip, but rather made an already terrible existence worse,” Hawwash noted.

Under the agreement between Israel and the UAE, the Tel Aviv regime has allegedly agreed to “temporarily” suspend applying its own rule to further areas in the occupied West Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pledged to annex.

Israeli leaders, however, lined up last week to call UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s bluff that Israel’s annexation plans were off the table after the deal.

“There is no change to my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States,” Netanyahu said in Jerusalem al-Quds, using the biblical name for the occupied West Bank. 

A senior Israeli source also said US President Donald Trump’s administration had requested to temporarily suspend the announcement of annexations “to first implement the historic peace agreement with the UAE”.

“On top of the hardships brought about by a 14-year-old siege and three major wars, Israel chooses to lash out against it on a regular basis, including for political reasons,” Hawwash said. 

“Real peace can only be achieved when the Palestinian people’s aspirations for freedom, justice and equality are realized, including a lifting of the siege on Gaza and an end to the use of 2 million Palestinians as a political football in Netanyahu’s hand,” he concluded.

Israel has carried out airstrikes and used artillery against sites inside the Gaza Strip for the past few days.

Israel also slashed Gaza’s permitted fishing zone on August 12 in response to the alleged balloon attacks, halving the area from 15 nautical miles to eight. 

The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli land, air and sea blockade since June 2007, after Hamas, which has vowed to resist Israeli occupation, rose to power in the enclave, where two million people live.

Since imposing the siege, it has also brought Gaza under three wholesale wars, killing thousands of Palestinians in each.

The crippling Gaza blockade has caused a sharp decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty in the strip.

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