Hamas blames Israel for Gaza escalation

GAZA CITY (AA): Palestinian resistance group Hamas has held Israel responsible for the ongoing escalation in the blockaded Gaza Strip.  

“The Israeli occupation bears the consequences of continuing commit its ‘follies’ against peaceful protesters and deliberately killing them in cold blood as well as bombing sites of resistance,” spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.  

The spokesman asserted that the escalation “will not secure the occupation or its people.”  

Israeli warplanes struck three targets, including a Hamas military site, in the Gaza Strip late Saturday.  

The Israeli military said the attacks followed rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.  

No injuries were reported.  

Since March, more than 250 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli army fire during protests near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.  

Protesters demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.  

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its more than two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.