June 2, 2023

Israeli fighter jets carried out a series of raids on targets in the Gaza Strip at midnight Thursday to Friday, local time, after launching rockets from Lebanon in an attack that Israel attributed to Palestinian activists.

A Palestinian security source said: “Occupation warplanes carried out a series of raids on several training facilities belonging to Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) in parts of the Gaza Strip.” Powerful explosions were heard in Gaza, and Israeli fighter jets were flying over the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the Israeli army confirmed the start of its air raids on the Gaza Strip.

And the army said in a statement that its fighters “recently fired on a tunnel (…) in the Beit Hanoun area (in the northern sector) and another in the Khan Yunis area (in the south). Two Hamas weapons manufacturing facilities in the northern and central parts of the Gaza Strip were also attacked.

The statement stated that “the raids were carried out in response to security violations by Hamas in recent days”, holding “Hamas (…) responsible for all (…) activities in the Gaza Strip.”

Before the start of the raids, the armed groups in Gaza reaffirmed in a joint statement “the readiness of the resistance to resist and respond with all its might to any aggression, and to defend our people in all places of their existence.”

For its part, Hamas, which controls Gaza, said in a statement: “We hold the occupation responsible for its aggression against Jerusalem and Gaza, and we call on the forces of our people and their groups to unite in open confrontation with the occupation. (…) and what will happen in the region”.

In turn, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades confirmed in a statement: “Its air defenses countered the invading Zionist warplanes in the Gaza Strip.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Thursday night to make his country’s enemies pay the “price for every attack” after rockets were fired from Lebanon.

“We will strike at our enemies and they will pay the price for every attack,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the Israeli Mini Security Government meeting in a short video clip broadcast by his office.

And Israel announced that on Thursday afternoon more than 30 rockets were fired from southern Lebanon into its northern lands in a bombardment that resulted in injuries and property damage, and the Jewish state confirmed that it was “Palestinian fire” and not a direct Hezbollah attack.

The explosion took place during the Jewish holiday of Passover and a day after Israeli security forces attacked worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, after which Palestinian groups vowed to carry out attacks in retaliation.

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