Israeli military aircraft on Monday evening started to target different areas of the embattled Gaza Strip hours after a rocket from the coastal enclave hit a house near Tel Aviv and wounded seven Israelis.
The Tel Aviv regime has mounted retaliatory airstrikes on what it claimed were elements of Hamas within Gaza, as, according to the Palestinian Information Center (PIC), sounds of explosions were rocking Gaza successively.
The Israeli Army announced that it would launch large-scale aerial attacks on Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that it has destroyed the office of head of Hamas’s political bureau Ismail Haniyeh.
The office was targeted by two missiles, but, no initial casualties were reported during the attack.
The strike on Haniyeh’s office was initially reported on Hamas’ radio network. Haniyeh himself had reportedly gone into hiding earlier on Monday, expecting an Israeli air raid.
Israeli fighters and helicopters also targeted Hamas’ military intelligence headquarters and internal security service offices in Gaza, according to the IDF’s twitter account.
The Palestinian Health Ministry has announced that at least seven Palestinians were injured in the latest attacks. Ashraf al-Qudrah, Spokesperson for Gaza’s Health Ministry, said hospitals and medical points across the strip are ready and on high alert. The health ministry has also called on residents to take precautions as Israel begins to launch attacks across Gaza.
The Hamas political chief called for unity to address Israeli assault.
“The Palestinian cause is being attacked on various fronts – in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, as well as inside Israeli jails. We must face this onslaught with a united national front, and in coordination with our Arab allies … Our people and the resistance will not surrender if the occupation crosses red lines,” he stressed.
Earlier Monday, Haniyeh stated in a press release that the Palestinian people “will not surrender” and the resistance factions “will deter the enemy if it exceeds the red lines”.
Meantime, the Islamic Jihad Movement warned the Israeli occupation state of carrying out any new aggression against the Gaza Strip.
“The occupation’s leaders should know that we will respond strongly to their aggression,” Secretary-General of the Movement Ziyad al-Nakhala stated in a press release.
It came following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s threats to launch large-scale aerial attacks on Gaza following alleged rocket fire from Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv regime intensified the presence of its forces along the border of the besieged Gaza Strip as a prelude to launching military aggression.
According to the Hebrew media, the Israeli Army deployed two infantry and armored brigades to Southern Israel and has begun a limited call up for reservists in the intelligence and air forces following the rocket fire near Tel Aviv.
A Hamas official, who asked not to be named, told AFP on Monday, “No one from the resistance movements, including Hamas, has an interest in firing rockets from the Gaza Strip towards the enemy.”
He added that the same message had been conveyed to Egypt, which intervened to broker a ceasefire and prevent Israel from launching another war on Gaza after tensions escalated last year.
UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric has stated that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “gravely concerned” by the recent developments in Israel and the Gaza Strip and urges all sides to exercise maximum restraint.
Tensions between Israel and Hamas have been on the rise in the recent months, amid ongoing confrontations at the fence separating the Palestinian enclave from the occupied territory.
Tensions have been running high in Gaza since late March 2018, when the “Great March of Return” rallies started, demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland by Israeli aggression. More than 270 Palestinians have so far been killed and at least 31,000 others wounded in the Gaza clashes.