After latest Israeli air strikes, Palestinians in Gaza urge unity while weary of war
Following recent Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip Thursday morning, Palestinian residents in the area feared that Israel's latest escalation seeks to further isolate the coastal enclave from responding to Israeli attacks on the occupied West Bank.
Early morning Thursday, Israeli warplanes attacked allegedly two military sites belonging to the Islamic Hamas movement in Gaza after rockets were launched from the coastal enclave into Israeli cities in response to Israel's deadly raid on Nablus that killed at least 11 Palestinians.
Palestinian security sources said to The New Arab that the Israeli army "targeted with several missiles a site of al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in al-Mughazi refugee camp, and another site located in the west of Gaza City."
However, the residents said they had not heard heavy explosions following similar airstrikes by Israel on previous occasions.
"I live near the attacked military site, but I was confused if it was targeted," Hanan al-Masri, a resident from al-Shatea refugee camp in the west of Gaza city, told TNA. "I felt that if the attack was far away from my house (…) it seems that the Israeli army decided to attack the sites without causing huge damage to the houses near the site."
"We are sorry for the high number of the victims who were killed by the criminal Israeli army, but (at the same time) we do not want to be involved in a military war with Israel and witness more massacres in Gaza," the 43-year-old mother of three added.
Avichai Adrea, the spokesman of the Israeli army, claimed that the airstrikes came in response to at least six homemade missiles fired from Gaza.
"We attacked two sites used for military production and naval equipment belonging to Hamas, west of Gaza City, and the other in the centre of the Strip," he said.
On his part, Ibrahim Helles, another resident in Gaza, argues to TNA that "Israel is not interested in escalating the situation in Gaza to take more space and freedom to attack the Palestinians in the West Bank."
"It seems that Israel will achieve what it is planning to do. We can see that on the ground as the factions limit their reactions on some protests here or there," he opined.
Both Helles and al-Masri called on all Palestinian factions to unify their efforts, internally and internationally, to force Israel to end its aggressions on Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza.
Despite the fact that no Palestinian party claimed the rocket fire, Hamas, the ruling party in the strip, stressed, "the resistance has the full right to defend its people."
"Our patience is running out and the armed resistance factions in Gaza will always be present to defend the Palestinian people," Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesperson in Gaza, said in a press statement.
"The resistance factions prove the equation of bombing with bombing and that the response to the aggression of the occupation will remain present," he added.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad confirmed that its officials sent direct messages to Egyptian authorities to warn Israel to stop its aggression, otherwise, the PIJ threatens, "the situation will explode".
Tariq Selmi, the spokesman of the PIJ, said in a press statement sent to TNA that "the enemy's attempts to split the Palestinian arenas will fail."
"We are unified in the battle. We will not abandon our duties and obligations in responding to aggression wherever it occurs," Selmi added.