GAZA STRIP (Dispatches) – The Zionist regime’s warplanes have attacked sites in the Gaza Strip after a rocket landed in southern parts of the occupied territories and as tensions reach a boiling point in the occupied West Bank, where 10 Palestinians have been killed by Zionist troops since last week.
The occupying regime’s military said the air raids in the early hours of Sunday targeted the region, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Various Palestinian media outlets reported the offensive early Sunday, identifying the targets as an area located west of the city of Khan Yunis and a farmland east of the city of Rafah.
The regime’s military, however, described the targets as sites belonging to the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement.
The Palestinian media also reported that resistance groups’ anti-aircraft artillery confronted the regime’s raids in Khan Yunis, firing at the regime’s aircraft.
In addition, Palestinian resistance groups fired five rockets from Gaza toward the occupied territories, two of which landed in an open area in Eshkol.
Al-Qassam Brigades, which is the military arm of Hamas, issued a statement later, saying, “Our air defenses responded at dawn today, Sunday, to the hostile Zionist warplanes in the skies of the Gaza Strip, with surface-to-air missiles.”
Before the attack, the regime’s military alleged that a rocket had been fired from the enclave towards the occupied territories without causing any casualties.
No person or group has yet claimed responsibility for the alleged firing of the projectile.
The Islamic Jihad, Hamas’ fellow Gaza-based resistance movement, had warned the regime, though, that it would avenge its earlier killing of two of its senior figures in the city of Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, released a statement saying he was “greatly concerned about the increasing level of violence in the occupied West Bank”.
“During the last days alone, 10 Palestinians have been killed by ISF (Zionist troops). Yesterday’s tragic killing of a Palestinian man, Ammar Mifleh, by a member of the ISF was the latest example,” Borrell said.
“Such unacceptable facts must be investigated and there must be full accountability. Under international law, lethal force is only justified in situations in which there exists a serious and imminent threat to life,” he said.
The current year has proven the deadliest for Palestinians since 2005, when the United Nations began keeping a record of the Palestinian fatalities.
More than 210 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the occupying regime’s deadly acts of aggression throughout Gaza and the West Bank since the beginning of the year. The number includes scores of women and children.
The regime occupied the Palestinian territories during a heavily Western-backed war in 1967.
Ever since, it has been dotting the West Bank with hundreds of settlements, which have come to house thousands of settlers, and imposing draconian restrictions on the Palestinians’ freedom of movement there.
Tel Aviv withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but has been keeping the coastal strip under intermittent and indiscriminate airstrikes as well as an all-out and crippling land, aerial, and naval siege.