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Israeli planes hit 25 targets in response to Gaza rocket fire: Army

AFP , Wednesday 20 Jun 2018
Gaza
Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in the central Gaza Strip June 20, 2018. (Reuters photo)
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Israeli fighter jets hit 25 targets in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian territory, the Israeli occupation army said.

Around 45 rockets were fired overnight from Gaza towards Israel, the army said in a statement. Seven were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system.

In retaliation, Israeli planes carried out three raids against military compounds belonging to the Islamist movement Hamas, it said.

The fresh hostilities come with tensions high in Gaza after mass protests and clashes broke out along the border on March 30. At least 132 Palestinians have been killed. There have been no Israeli fatalities.

Palestinians are demanding the right to return to the homes their families fled or were expelled from during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel.

Israel besieged Gaza since 2007.

The Gaza Strip is controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas which Israel considers its bitter enemy.

"The Hamas terror organisation targeted Israeli civilians throughout the night with a severe rocket attack and is dragging the Gaza Strip and its civilians down a deteriorating path," the Israeli occupation army said.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and other international stakeholders have warned that Gaza is close to the brink of war.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008 and observe a tense ceasefire that is regularly shaken by hostile acts.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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