Hamas threatens Israel over attacks on Gaza

Hamas has threatened Israel, saying that it won’t hesitate to engage in a battle if the latter continues striking posts, facilities and other sites that belong to the Islamic movement in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement sent to Xinhua news agency on Friday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that “the armed resistance (Hamas and other militant factions) won’t hesitate to engage in a battle with Israel if it keeps striking on the Gaza Strip”.

Tensions in the besieged coastal enclave have increased in the past 10 days, in which Israel carried out ground and air attacks on Hamas military posts and facilities all over Gaza.

Israeli army officials said that the daily attacks on Hamas posts in Gaza are in response to launching arson balloons and firing makeshift projectiles from the enclave into Israel.

“The response of the Palestinian armed resistance against the occupation’s (Israel) escalation and tightening its siege imposed on the Gaza Strip was direct,” Bahroum said, referring to the firing of around 12 projectiles into Israel on Thursday.

“The Israeli occupation, which continues its aggression on Gaza, tightens its siege, disturbs the populations’ lives and shells the resistance posts, should bear the results and pay the price.”

Israeli media reported that on Thursday night and into the Friday morning, militants launched around 12 projectiles from Gaza into southern Israel, causing damage to a house and wounding four people in Sderot city.

In response, Israeli warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes that targeted Hamas militants’ posts and facilities in Gaza with no injuries reported.

Israel also banned the shipment of construction materials and fuel and did not permit around 3,000 Palestinians to fish off the Gaza coast.

Two days ago, a high-ranking Egyptian security intelligence delegation failed to convince Hamas and Israel into restoring calm in Gaza after Israel rejected Hamas’ demands to improve the enclave’s living conditions.

An Israeli army spokesman had earlier announced that Army Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi approved a plan of getting on alert in southern Israel for all possible scenarios.

Meanwhile, the joint chamber of military operations for Palestinian factions’ armed wings said in a press statement that they “will not let the enemy (Israel) keep the illegal and unfair siege imposed on our people”.

In a press statement sent to Xinhua, the militants said that it is the right of the Palestinian people “to use all possible means of resistance to express their rejection to the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for 14 years”.