The statement follows Israel Defence Force spokesman Avichay Adraee stating that Israeli troops attacked around 100 targets in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning in response to the 14 March shelling of Tel Aviv from Palestinian territory.
The Palestinian Hamas militant group, which openly calls for Israel’s destruction, has pledged to take action against those who launched rockets on Tel Aviv on Thursday.
“We are following up on the firing of rockets from Gaza against the national consensus and the ministry will take measures against the violators," the Hamas-run Interior Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
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The statement comes as the Times of Israel quoted an unnamed Hamas official as saying that the group “has no interest in an escalation” with Israel. The official added he “has no idea” who fired rockets toward Tel Aviv on 14 March.
Daoud Shehab, spokesman for the Palestinian terrorist group Islamic Jihad (PIJ), for his part, rejected reports of the PIJ being behind the rocket fire, slamming them as “baseless lies and claims”.
He also pointed out that his group is “committed to the ceasefire understandings [between Hamas and the Jewish state]” as long as Israel “halts its aggression against the Palestinian people”.
Earlier on Friday, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster and Palestinian media reported that Tel Aviv and Hamas had agreed on a ceasefire after the Thursday rocket fire. Israel has not confirmed the reports. READ MORE: IDF Says Pounded Hamas Gaza Targets in Response to Arson Balloons Launches Israel Defence Force spokesman Avichay Adraee, in turn, wrote on his Twitter page that “in response to the rocket fire at Israel, some 100 [Hamas] terrorist targets have been hit across the Gaza Strip”.
AP Photo / Baz Ratner Peace At Last? Israel and Hamas Come Close to Breakthrough on Ceasefire Deal
The rockets fired toward Tel Aviv were the first such shelling since 2014, and they reportedly did not hit residential areas and caused no direct injury.New wave of tensions near the Gaza border began last March, when Palestinian protests, dubbed the Great March of Return, began.
Escalation further mounted in fall due to continued shelling and arson balloons launches from Gaza into the Israeli territory and Israeli strikes on Palestinian targets in response to these actions. READ MORE: Hamas Boosts Troops Training Amid Rising Tensions With Israel — Reports Hamas seeks the creation of an independent state of Palestine and wants Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories it occupied after the 1967 war. The movement, which is blacklisted by Israel as a terrorist organisation and repeatedly exchanged rocket strikes with Tel Aviv, governs the Gaza Strip independently of the Palestinian Authority.Source: sputniknews.com