TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Helicopters and jets operated by the Israeli regime launched fresh attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip less than a day after warplanes targeted facilities allegedly belonging to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
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Israeli sources said the airstrikes late on Saturday targeted Hamas positions in Gaza while tanks were stationed on the border separating the enclave from the occupied Palestinian territories, Press TV reported.
The attacks reportedly came after Hamas fired rockets on Israeli positions in Sderot and in Sha'ar Hanegev region to retaliate Israeli attacks that had taken place in the early hours of Saturday.
Regime sources said two of the three rockets fired by Hamas had been intercepted by Israel's modern Iron Dome system.
Media reports said the rocket attacks had caused panic among Israeli settlers and military forces. There was no statement from Hamas on the rocket attacks and Israeli bombardment.
Later reports in the Israeli media showed that regime forces had shot and killed five Palestinians who were allegedly attempting to cross the border from Gaza into the occupied territories.
The reports said the five were members of the military wing of Palestinian movement the Islamic Jihad who were crossing the border from Gaza's Beit Hanoun region.
The escalation of the conflict in Gaza comes amid renewed tensions in the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians have been protesting against the continued Israeli aggression.
Hamas officials said early on Saturday that Israel's attacks on Gaza were meant to divert the global attention from regime's embarrassment in the West Bank.
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said it would not allow the Israeli regime to use the enclave as a ground to settle its accounts.