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Israeli warplanes pummel Gaza as Netanyahu asserts readiness for 'devastating action' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israeli warplanes pummel Gaza as Netanyahu asserts readiness for 'devastating action'

An Egyptian security and intelligence contingent arrived in Gaza to try to ease tensions [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 February, 2020

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Eight strikes rocked the waters off Gaza beach on Monday, in response to alleged rocket fire into Israel.
Israeli military warplanes and helicopters struck sites near the waters off Gaza beach a total of eight times early on Monday morning, according to The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site. 

Tensions between Israel and Palestinians have risen in the wake of US President Donald Trump's unveiling of the Middle East peace plan, which is seen as heavily biased to Israel.

Monday's strikes targeted naval facilities allegedly used by the strip's ruling authoritiy Hamas to carry out naval training excercises.

No casualties were reported in the bombing's aftermath, which an Israeli military spokesman said weas a response to "rockets and incendiary balloons" fired into Israeli territory.

On Sunday night, a projectile was launched from Gaza at southern Israel, triggering air raid sirens and sending thousands to bomb shelters.

A spokeswoman for the regional council in Shaar Hanegev, northeast of Gaza, said the projectile apparently hit an open field.

Read more: Egypt steps in to calm Israel-Gaza fighting

At least eight rockets or mortars have been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel since January 28, when Trump presented his proposals for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would "not accept any aggression from Gaza" as Palestinians continue to express outrage at the deal.

"I will not go into detail about all of our actions and plans in front of the media, but we are prepared to take devastating action against the terrorist organisations in Gaza," he said.

"Our actions are very strong and they have not yet ended, to put it mildly." 

Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum responded to Netanyahu's threat when addressing reporters in Gaza Sunday afternoon, calling it a "desperate attempt to petrify the Palestinian people and resistance forces in order to distract from his past failed attempts, his crimes in the West Bank and his domestic crises."

Meanwhile on Monday, an Egyptian security and intelligence contingent arrived in the Gaza strip for meetings with senior Hamas officials to try to ease tensions.

Egypt has served as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group. 

Recently however, ties between Hamas and Egypt have been placed under strain after the group's chief Ismail Haniyeh, visited Iran in January and participated in the funeral of slain general Qassem Soleimani.

“Our brothers in Egypt scolded us for visiting Iran, but [Hamas] has its own independent stance,” Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, told reporters in Gaza on January 21.

Egypt is allied with a number of Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which view Iran as a regional foe.

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