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Hamas launches rockets, mortars in response to Israeli airstrikes

July 26, 2018 11:05 A.M. (Updated: July 26, 2018 12:22 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Hamas movement launched nine rockets and mortar shells from the besieged Gaza Strip towards Israel on predawn Thursday.

According to Hebrew-language news outlets, while sirens sounded in the Gaza-Israeli border communities, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted one of the launched rockets.

Following the killing of three Palestinians in Gaza, the Israeli army demanded that Israeli settlers of the Gaza-Israeli border communities remain in bomb shelters.

The Hamas movement military wing announced that it would strongly respond to the Israeli airstrikes and were committed to shelling Israel.

Spokesperson of the Hamas movement, Fawzi Barhum, said that "the amount of Israeli escalation against Gaza reflect the real intentions of the occupation to kill..."

Barhum said that the movement cannot remain silent towards Israeli actions and crimes; "it is our duty defend and protect our people."

Meanwhile, sources told Ma'an that Israeli naval forces also opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats as they were working off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip.

No injuries were reported.

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire at unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the unilaterally declared buffer zone.

In addition, regarding the recent events in Gaza and Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held security meetings overnight with Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Gadi Eizenkot, and National Security Council Chairman, Meir Ben-Shabbat.

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