March 18, 2019
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Israel strikes Hamas positions after rockets allegedly fired from Gaza

Jerusalem, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- The Israeli military said it has attacked more than 100 positions of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas early Friday in response to rockets allegedly fired from Gaza.

The army claimed the movement fired four rockets from Gaza towards Tel Aviv.

“Four rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Iron Dome Aerial Defense System intercepted three of the rockets,” the official Twitter account of the Israeli military said.

Several Hamas military positions and military training centers were targeted as well as the main underground-located rocket production center.

“We hit 100 Hamas military targets in Gaza in response to the rockets they fired at Israeli civilians. Among them: Underground rocket manufacturing site, Headquarters responsible for orchestrating Hamas terrorism in Judea and Samaria (Israeli name of West Bank) and Hamas center of unmanned aerial aircraft,” the statement added.

According to official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Israel fired rockets on several locations in the southern Gaza Strip including the largest quarter of Gaza's Old City, al-Zaytun, and Khan Yunis.

Initially, the Israeli military reported late Thursday the firing of two rockets from Gaza, intercepting one of them, and then announced the launching of two more, which were both intercepted, holding Hamas accountable for the attacks.

However, both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad movement denied responsibility.

According to the Palestinian news agency Maan, Hamas was in a meeting with a Egyptian security delegation, held to address peace in Gaza, at the time the rockets were fired.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Dawood Shihab also denied responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, Gaza's interior ministry issued a statement in which it assured the rocket firing from Gaza violated the factional and national consensus and pledged to take measures against the perpetrators.

Following the incident, the Egyptian delegation that has been negotiating for months a long-term truce agreement between Israel and Hamas left the strip, before the imminence of Israeli attacks on the territory.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting on Thursday night with the military and defense leadership at the army headquarters in Tel Aviv to assess the situation.

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