Rockets fired from Gaza injure 5 Israelis: Reports

Earlier Israeli warplanes strike resistance positions – including 2 cross-border tunnels – across Gaza Strip
JERUSALEM: At least five Israelis were injured by shrapnel on Tuesday when rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck the Eshkol settlement complex in southern Israel, according to Israeli media reports. Two factions of Hamas and Palestine’s Islamic Jihad groups claimed responsibility.
“Five Israelis were wounded, four of them by mortar shrapnel,” Israeli daily Haaretz online reported, adding that the Israeli military “called this the worst incident since the Israel-Gaza war of 2014.”
“Most of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system,” Haartez added.
Earlier Tuesday, Israel’s Walla news website reported that at least one of the Israelis was “critically” injured. A senior government source also told Walla that Israel doesn’t want an escalation in Gaza but would respond to rockets with firmness.
The army said at least two of the rockets fell in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing no casualties or damage.
An Israeli army spokesman also said earlier that Israeli warplanes had struck 35 resistance positions — including two cross-border tunnels — across the Gaza Strip.
In a joint statement, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Hamas, alongside the Saraya al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Palestine’s Islamic Jihad movement, claimed responsibility for the shelling.
The shelling included “dozens of rocket missiles throughout the day Tuesday,” said the statement.
The shelling came “in response to the brutal Zionist aggression and crimes” against Palestinians, including members of the two brigades, it added.
It was Israel which started the attack, argued the statement, through “targeting our people and Mujahideen and our military positions during the past 48 hours in an attempt to escape paying the price for crimes against peaceful civilians.”–AA

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