05/30/2018, 10.00
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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Gaza, the Israeli army hits dozens of Hamas 'military targets'

Jets hit drones, a rocket factory and "military deposits". It is the worst military escalation since the 2014 war. Netanyahu threatens "vigorous" responses to attacks. The possible "involvement" of Iran in resumption of Hamas's military confrontation. But there are doubts.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Israeli army has hit 25 Hamas "military targets" in Gaza, in the context of a series of air raids in response to rockets and mortars launched from the Strip. This is the worst military escalation in the area since the 2014 war.

Objectives targeted by Israeli jets include drones, a factory for the construction of rockets and "military deposits".

According to Israeli sources, yesterday alone more than 35 military targets were hit in the Palestinian enclave, plus those hit overnight. The operation is a response to the launch of more than 70 rockets and mortars that fell yesterday in various areas of Israel, which wounded three soldiers.

At the moment there are no confirmed reports of victims or injured in the Gaza Strip. Sirens and explosions have followed each other throughout the evening yesterday and continued in the night.

In these hours, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad spoke of an agreement aimed at cease-fire, to restore calm in the area and bring relief to the population. However, the Israeli army did not want to confirm, nor deny the news.

The clash between Israelis and Hamas in recent days is part of the deadly protests and clashes that have broken out along the Gaza border.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that "Israel takes the attacks launched" by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad "from the Gaza Strip very seriously". He therefore assured that the army "will respond vigorously to these attacks".

In recent months Hamas, which has governed the Strip for over 10 years, has regained control of the various factions present in the area after a long period of internal divisions. Since the beginning of protests for the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the leaders of the Islamic movement have wanted to show a peaceful and popular face, respected by all movements including Islamic Jihad.

However, the return to military action of these hours seems to indicate a change of course that emerged during two interviews released on May 16th and 21st by Yahya Sinouar, Hamas leader in the Strip. He promised that in the event of further clashes, his Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades would have reserved surprises for the "Zionist enemy". Analysts and experts explain that behind this radical shift could be the hand of Iran, which has provided arms, money and technology.

In reality, Iranian military support for the extremist movements of the Strip is not at all certain and could be a bluff of Hamas leaders, to put further pressure on Israel. The leaders of the Israeli army did not rule out an "involvement" of the Islamic Republic, underlining the Iranian origin of the weapons used by Hamas.

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