PalestineMiddle EastResistance Axix

Zionist regime warplanes strike Hamas positions in western Gaza Strip in fresh act of aggression

The Israeli military has carried out new airstrikes against the Gaza Strip, as the Tel Aviv regime continues its acts of aggression against the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave. 

The military alleged in a statement that it targeted in the early hours of Saturday morning a Hamas underground facility, which the resistance movement used for the production of rocket materials in the central Gaza Strip.

“The site targeted was one of the largest and most important sites in the Strip for the production of base materials for rockets” by the Gaza-based groups, the statement further claimed.

Palestinians reported that several strikes hit areas near Gaza City shortly before 5 a.m. local time (0200 GMT).

Videos and pictures on social media showed large fireballs rising following the strikes on unspecified targets.

Flames rise during Israeli airstrikes against a site belonging to the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement in the western part of the Gaza Strip on July 16, 2022. (Photo by Anadolu news agency)

According to the Arabic-language Palestine Today news agency, Israeli warplanes launched eight missiles at a site for Hamas resistance movement near al-Baydar area, west of Gaza City.

The report added that Israeli gunboats also fired at Palestinian fishermen’s boats in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli aircraft also bombed a site west of Nuseirat refugee camp, located five kilometers (3.1 miles) northeast of Deir al-Balah city, early on Saturday morning.

Smoke rises during Israeli airstrikes against a site belonging to Palestinian resistance fighters west of Nuseirat refugee camp, the Gaza Strip, on July 16, 2022. (Photo by the Arabic-language Shehab news agency)

Hamas reactions

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem condemned the latest Israeli airstrikes, stating that they fall within the framework of the regime’s crimes and terrorist behavior.

“The Zionist occupation, despite all means of terrorism and complete US support, will not be able to bread down the valiant resistance of our steadfast people. We will continue our resistance and legitimate struggle until usurpers are fully expelled from all our Palestinian lands,” he added.

Fawzi Barhoum, another Hamas spokesman, highlighted that the recent Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip are in continuation of the regime’s all-out aggression against Palestinian people, lands and sacred sites.

Earlier, Gaza-based Palestinian resistance fighters had launched four rockets from the blockaded coastal enclave toward the southern part of the Israeli-occupied territories.

The Israeli army asserted that two rockets were fired toward the southern city of Ashkelon at around 1 a.m. One was purportedly intercepted while the other struck an open area. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

Two more rockets were also fired, with sirens activated in Moshav Ahuzam near Kiryat Gat. Both rockets reportedly fell in open areas.

The developments came shortly after US President Joe Biden visited the occupied territories, and toured the Israeli military’s various air missile systems, including the so-called Iron Dome and still-in-development Iron Beam laser system. 

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007 when Hamas took control of the coastal enclave.  

The siege has inflicted severe hardship on residents. The poverty rate among Gaza’s population has reached 53 percent, while “extreme poverty” stands at 33.8 percent, according to statistics by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

About 68 percent of families do not have enough to eat, while 80 percent of Gazans are dependent on aid.

The area’s unemployment rate stands at 45.1 percent, according to PCBS.

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