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Israeli warplanes hit Hamas in Gaza overnight

Israeli warplanes hit Hamas in Gaza overnight”

The arrests come as Israel braces for the annual Palestinian Land Day protests on 30 March to commemorate the killing of six unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Israel in 1976.

"Hamas is running into the arms of Iran and exploiting civilians by sending them to the (security fence that divides Gaza and Israel)", he said.

Carried out by the Qassam Brigades, the two-day exercises were meant to test the Brigades' combat readiness and prepare for simultaneous Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip, according to Abu Ubaida.

The Israeli army was checking reports of the firings and a spokesman declined immediate comment.

"We don't know who sent them and what their goal was", an Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP.

"We call on the Palestinian people to take part in the upcoming "Return" march with a view to breaking the decade-long siege of Gaza", association member Saber Ahmed said on the rally's sidelines.

"Hamas is at a low point, suffering severe civilian and infrastructure crises", Major General Herzl Halevi said at a conference.

A military spokeswoman told AFP that no projectiles were actually fired at Israel, with the Iron Dome possibly set off by machine gunfire in Gaza.

Since 2007, the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has groaned under a crippling Israeli/Egyptian blockade that has largely destroyed the enclave's economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of basic commodities.

Israeli forces have pounded the Palestinian town of Beit Lahia after dozens of rocket sirens sounded in southern Israel following light artillery fire from a drill carried out by Hamas' military arm in the northern Gaza Strip.



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