Israel strikes Gaza Strip amid tension

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Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes on positions of Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

The raids targeted three positions of Islamic Jihad group and a position of Hamas in central and southern Gaza Strip, according to local residents.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed the airstrikes on Twitter, saying the army “is currently operating in the Gaza Strip”.

There were no reports yet of casualties.

Tuesday’s attacks came hours after the Israeli army said a volley of mortar shells were fired from the Palestinian territory into Israel, but were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system.

The shelling came after four Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks on positions of Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip in the past two days.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said shelling was in response to Israeli “crimes”.

This “was part of the natural right to defend our people and respond to Israeli crimes and assassinations of resistance fighters,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.

Tension has been running high across the occupied Palestinian territories since the United States relocated its embassy earlier this month from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967 and represents the heart of the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Since late March, more than 115 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli gunfire during anti-occupation protests in the Gaza Strip.

The protesters demand their return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

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