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Hamas Reportedly Claims for Attack in Gaza Repelled by Massive Israeli Airstrike

© AP Photo / Tsafrir AbayovAn Israeli soldier is seen next to an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near the northern Israeli city of Haifa, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013.
An Israeli soldier is seen next to an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near the northern Israeli city of Haifa, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. - Sputnik International
The barrage of 28 mortars was fired from the enclave earlier in the day, injuring at least five Israelis. Most of the rockets were claimed to be intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad movements have claimed responsibility for the recent shelling of the Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, the Times of Israel reported.

The mortar shelling injured at least three Israeli servicemen, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) press service said earlier in the day.

The Hamas announcement confirms previous statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made earlier in the day, blaming the organization for the recent attacks, promising to respond "forcefully" to the barrage.

"Israel takes a grave view of the attacks on it and its communities by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip. The IDF will respond to these attacks forcefully," he said during a conference in northern Israel, referring to the Israel Defence Forces.

According to the IDF, following Netanyahu's statement, the Israeli air forces hit at least 35 targets at the positions of the Islamic Jihad movement in Southern Gaza, which Israel believed to be behind the attack. Later the IDF stated, that the strikes it performed in Gaza Strip were the most powerful for the last four years.

The IDF listed six military compounds, munition storage warehouses, naval targets, and terror headquarters among the attacked targets.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman commented the issue, saying the strikes against Gaza are "only the beginning."

"Today at midday, we massively and powerfully attacked terrorist infrastructure, including an additional tunnel, across the Gaza Strip. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have already paid a heavy price and the bill has just been presented to them. We have no intention to let it pass," Lieberman added.

After the activation of the system IDF reported about two more missile attacks from the Gaza Strip, which were intercepted with the Iron Dome air defense system.

During the day the sirens had gone off on five occasions in the settlements along the border with the Gaza Strip — Hof Ashkelon, Eshkol, Sha'ar HaNegev, and Merchavim Regional Councils, the Ashkelon industrial area, and Sderot. The missiles fired from Gaza injured at least five Israelis, Haaretz newspaper reported, specifying that four of them were wounded by mortar shrapnel.

READ MORE: Israeli Company Offers Insurance in Case of Missile Attack Amid Gaza Tensions

Reacting to the recent exchange of fire, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called it "an open campaign by terrorist groups with Iranian backing, whose goal is ongoing damage to Israel's security. We are determined to protect our borders, daily life and our citizens' lives, and to destroy those who wish us harm."

The situation on the border escalated on Monday, particularly after an Israeli tank attacked a militant observation post in response to an attempted violation of the border by two Palestinians.

Rocket is launched from a new Israeli anti-missile system known as Iron Dome. (File) - Sputnik International
Israel Intercepts Most of Missiles Fired From Gaza - IDF
The violent clashes between Palestinian protestors and IDF on the Gaza border with Israel continue since March when the Palestinian started their rallies called The Great March of Return. Israel has explained its actions citing security reasons, saying it is defending its borders and blames Hamas for encouraging thousands of Palestinians to break through the border and attack Israelis.

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