Hamas denies launching rocket attack, blames IDF for escalating tensions

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesman: "The IDF holds Hamas accountable for any attacks from the Gaza Strip that jeopardize the safety of Israelis and breach Israel's sovereignty".

Witnesses said the aircraft attacked four security positions belonging to Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, and that the two people hurt were passers-by.

Hamas claimed that three Gazans were moderately wounded during an Israeli bombardment east of Rafah.

In mid-2014, Israel waged a devastating 51-day military onslaught on the Gaza Strip in which more than 2,300 Palestinians were killed and tens of thousands injured.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum described Israel's action as "unacceptable", accusing the Jewish state of a "continuation of this unsafe escalation against Gaza".

The airstrikes targeted positions associated with Palestinian resistance factions in the northern, central and southern Gaza Strip. Israel has accused the United Nations body of cooperating with militants, while UNRWA has accused Israel of hindering its operations in the Gaza Strip.

Israel Defense Forces tanks and aircraft struck five Hamas targets in Gaza on Monday in retaliation for a rocket attack, the army confirmed.

Israel has vowed a harsher response to Hamas' "provocation" in future.

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