(Xinhua) — Tension between Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement continued for the fifth day on Friday in the Gaza Strip with no sign of any truce.
Overnight and at predawn, the tit-for-tat violent military confrontations between the two sides were intensified. Militants fired more barrages of rockets into Israel, and Israeli fighter jets kept striking on the enclave.
The Hamas-run ministry of health said in a text message that 122 Palestinians have been killed, including 31 children and 20 women, and 900 others injured since Monday in the Gaza Strip.
Eyewitnesses and Palestinian security sources told Xinhua that Israeli army artillery on Friday struck the eastern area of Gaza city with tanks, killing at least two.
At predawn, tanks hit the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahia, killing a mother and her four children, according to medical sources.
The reason behind hitting the family’s house wasn’t known, which might ignite more tension between the two sides, the eyewitnesses said.
An Israeli army spokesman said in a press statement that the Israeli forces had intensively attacked posts that belong to Hamas, adding that 160 war jets, artillery, and tanks participated in the military operation.
The statement said 150 targets were hit overnight and on Friday morning, adding that many of the targets were underground.
It said the Israeli army will continue its strikes on the militants who fire rockets at Israel.
As the Israeli bombardments were intensified, Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants announced that their militants fired more barrages of rockets into Israel.
Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, claimed responsibility for launching 100 rockets at the Israeli city of Ashkelon, in response to Israel’s “targeting of civilians” in the enclave.
Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, also said that its militants carried out intensive rocket strikes at Israeli cities in southern and central Israel.
The Israeli army said Gaza militant groups have fired more than 1,750 rockets at Israel, most of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system. The rockets fired from Gaza killed at least nine Israelis and wounded 200 others.
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources said the contacts to reach calm between the two sides had so far failed, adding that Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations lead the mediation between the two sides for reaching a truce.