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Israel launches fresh airstrikes in Gaza Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel launches fresh airstrikes in Gaza

Hamas has responded to an Israeli incursion on Gaza's border [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 May, 2016

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The embattled Gaza Strip has been pounded by Israel's air force, as Hamas called on the Israeli military to withdraw from Gaza's borders.
The Israeli military on Thursday morning carried out airstrikes on four suspected Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, in response, Tel Aviv says, to mortar rounds fired into Israel.

Israeli ground troops are also understood to have entered the coastal enclave.

A metal workshop in Gaza City was hit by one of the air raids, leaving three children and a 65-year-old Palestinian suffering light-to-moderate injuries.

The military says it hit "terrorist infrastructure sites" belonging to Hamas, the armed Islamist movement which which rules Gaza.

Palestinian media said an Islamic Jihad group outpost was also targeted.

Israel bombed five other suspected Hamas targets on Wednesday, reportedly responding to a mortar shell allegedly launched towards Israeli troops near the Gaza Strip.

The army said no soldiers were harmed.

Military spokesman Peter Lerner called it the "most serious" escalation since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas sources told The New Arab that Egyptian and international intercessions have led to a deal under which the Israeli army would withdraw from areas on the eastern Gaza border in exchange for a further ceasefire.

The Qassam brigades, the Hamas movement's paramilitary wing, said it would not allow Israeli aggression to continue and issued a statement telling the Israeli army to withdraw immediately.  

Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas figure, said Israeli troops had made an incursion into Gaza in an attempt to cement a new border, more than 150 metres from the existing line. 

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