Two Palestinians Killed as Israel Targets Hamas Complex

Posted July 17, 2018

Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh said on Sunday that demonstrations would go on until the fulfillment of the Palestinian people's demands, including their right to return to their homeland.

"Our message to Hamas is that we can and will enhance the intensity of our effort if needed", he said. The Israeli military claimed that its so-called Iron Dome missile defense system had managed to intercept 16 of the projectiles. On Saturday the Israeli military said it was conducting strikes against Hamas "in response to the terror acts instigated during the violent riots that took place along the security fence" the day before.

The flare-up came after Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians, including a teenager, and wounded hundreds of others in border clashes on Friday, the latest in months of protests.

Israeli media reported that more than 140 rocket alarm sirens also sounded throughout communities near the Israel-Gaza border from midnight into the morning. The IDF said it had struck facilities used by Hamas, which dominates Gaza, including a battalion headquarters in Beit Lahia, a training camp located in a high-rise building in the al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza, weapons storage facilities and rocket launchers. The raids were a response to rockets fired into Israel, he said.

The Israeli military released footage of the air strike, which it described as targeting a "Hamas training facility" that harbored an underground tunnel network belonging to the Islamist group, who rule Gaza.

Hamas police also announced an explosion Sunday at a house in Gaza City that killed a father and son, aged 35 and 13.

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Hamas was quick in retaliatory attacks against Israeli positions in the occupied Palestinian territories when it launched 90 rockets.

"We were sitting in the living room and all of a sudden, the aquarium exploded and there was smoke everywhere and glass flew everywhere", said Aharon Buchris, who was wounded along with his wife and two teenage daughters, as he awaited surgery in hospital.

In return, Gaza militant groups fired barrages of mortar shells into small Israeli communities close to the border with Gaza and also fired dozens of rockets into Israeli towns in the southern part.

Since March, more than 130 people have been martyred and thousands more injured by Israeli army fire during Palestinian protests against the decades-long Israeli occupation and 11-year blockade, which has gutted the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of basic commodities.

Hamas, meanwhile, has been trying to break out of its isolation and spotlight the hardships of the impoverished strip without invoking the full wrath of Israel.

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