Hamas has denied Israeli claims that it established military positions in civilian areas in the Gaza Strip, saying that Israel was telling a "miserable lie" to cover up its history of massacres in the besieged enclave.
The spokesperson of Hamas' military wing, the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, released a statement on his Telegram account on Thursday condemning Israel for its constant claims that Hamas is using human shields and hiding its military positions in civilian areas.
"The enemy's allegations about the existence of places for military action among civilians, and the sites and coordinates it circulated in this regard is a complete lie and misleading", Abu Ubaida said.
He added that Israel's claims are "a miserable attempt to cover up its inability and failure in the face of the resistance".
He also accused Israel of justifying the human and material harm it has caused in the besieged enclave by targeting families and civilian infrastructure such as schools, mosques, hospitals and schools.
"The resistance can be trusted with the lives of our people and is keen on ensuring their safety and security.
"The enemy’s systematic and continuous policy of spreading lies will not erase this clear truth, and the enemy will pay dearly for any folly against our people and our people," he added.
Abu Ubaida, who covers his face for security purposes, is a popular figure amongst Hamas supporters and has been the spokesperson for Hamas since 2007. He is also part of the senior command of the Al-Qassam Brigades.
Fifteen years of siege
In 2007, Israel imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on the strip, which activists say has effectively turned the coastal enclave into an open-air prison. Basic necessities such as food, fuel, and medicines are severely restricted, while there is a massive shortage of vital building materials.
In 2014, the UN - along with four human rights organisations - said that the Gaza Strip could end up becoming "uninhabitable" because of Israeli policies. The decade-long siege has plunged hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into poverty.
Nearly 70 percent of Gaza's population is food insecure and around 80 percent of Palestinians in the besieged enclave are reliant on international aid, according to the United Nations.
Of Gaza's two million population, 1.4 million are refugees whose ancestors were forced out of their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.