Fresh Tensions in Gaza Strip as Israel Carries out Intense Air Raids
Rocket fired by Hamas hits an Israeli compound (Photo: IDF)

Israeli Defence Forces and Hamas' forces have resumed their attacks against each other a day after a covert operation killed six Palestinians in the enclave.

Hamas fired 300 rockets and mortars at Israel of which more than 70 were intercepted by the country’s iron dome air defence system. However, a few rockets did get through and one hit an empty bus, seriously injuring a soldier nearby.

Israel responded with more than 70 strikes on what it said were targets belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Israeli attacks killed atleast three Palestinians, of which two reportedly belonged to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine group.

Israeli health officials said 10 people in Israel were injured due to the rockets fired by Hamas. Israeli Maj Gen Kamil Abu Rukun warned that Hamas "has crossed a red line" and Israel would "continue to respond with an iron fist against all terrorist activity or rocket fire"".

Along with the air raids, Israeli artillery units also shelled positions across the densely-populated enclave and a building housing a television station was hit.

These offensives came even as negotiations are ongoing behind the scenes, with Egypt and United Nations acting as mediators to calm tensions. Gaza has been particularly volatile since Palestinians launched the protests dubbed ‘The great march of return’ which demands the repatriation of Palestinians to their ancestral lands. More than 200 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces since the end of March this year.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov has urged both sides to observe restraint. Israel and Hamas have been embroiled in a bloody war three times over the decades, but rocket-fire from Gaza and Israeli air strikes against militant targets have become almost a weekly occurrence this year.