By Ola Atallah
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA): Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip on Monday injuring four Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The airstrikes targeted positions associated with Palestinian resistance factions in the northern, central and southern Gaza Strip.
“Four Palestinians sustained moderate injuries in the attacks,” ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement.
The Israeli army said it had targeted five Hamas positions in Gaza in response to a rocket fired earlier into southern Israel from the Palestinian enclave.
“The IDF [Israeli army] holds Hamas accountable for all attacks from the Gaza Strip that threaten Israel and her citizens,” the army tweeted.
According to eyewitnesses, Israeli warplanes struck two positions in the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, one in the center of the territory, and another in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
The Gaza-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements, meanwhile, warned Israel against any further escalations.
“We will not allow Israel to continue targeting resistance positions in Gaza. These moves are intended to escalate the situation,” Hamas said in a statement.
“Hamas will not accept the imposition of a new [military] equation on the Palestinian resistance,” the statement read.
Islamic Jihad, for its part, declared that Monday’s airstrikes amounted to an attempt by Israel to “reshuffle the cards with a view to translating its threats against the Palestinian people into reality”.
“All justifications given by Israel for this escalation are false,” group spokesman Dawud Shihab said in a statement.
In mid-2014, Israel waged a devastating 51-day military onslaught on the Gaza Strip in which more than 2,300 Palestinians were killed and tens of thousands injured.
According to Israeli figures, 68 Israeli soldiers and five Israeli civilians were killed in the conflict, while another 2,522 Israelis — including 740 soldiers — were injured.
[Photo: A wounded Palestinian man is carried to the hospital after the war crafts belonging to the Israeli Army staged an air-strike in Rafah, Gaza on February 27, 2017. Photographer: Muhabiri Ali Jadallah/AA]