20:21 GMT25 January 2020
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    Hamas, the Sunni militant organisation in control of the Gaza Strip, has been embroiled in a protracted conflict with Israel, which continues to refuse to recognise the Palestinian Authority as an independent political and diplomatic entity.

    Israeli fighter jets have launched a strike on a Hamas weapons manufacturing site in Gaza, responding to the rocket fired from Gaza at Israel overnight and intercepted by the country’s Iron Dome air defence system, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Twitter Thursday.

    “We hold Hamas responsible for the events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it”, the IDF added.

    The statement comes after the IDF said earlier this month that in retaliating against the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip, its fighter jets, along with attack helicopters, "struck a number of Hamas terror targets in Gaza".

    This was preceded by similar developments last month, when Palestinian militants fired multiple rockets toward Israel, which responded with aerial attacks.

    Rocket is launched from a new Israeli anti-missile system known as Iron Dome. (File)
    © AP Photo / Dan Balilty
    Rocket is launched from a new Israeli anti-missile system known as Iron Dome. (File)

    Israel-Hamas Tensions

    Tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians near the Gaza border have been mounting for months. The Israeli authorities have been blaming Hamas for aggressive actions toward Israel.

    At the same time, Palestinians are protesting against Israel's reluctance to recognise the Palestinian Authority as a separate political entity.

    The two sides were on the brink of war in early May, after militants launched hundreds of rockets toward southern Israel, while the IDF retaliated with a spate of airstrikes at numerous Hamas targets in Gaza. The back and forth attacks left at least 25 Palestinians and four Israelis dead, with Egyptian mediators facilitating a ceasefire on 6 May.

    Hamas has been in control of Gaza for over a decade following a conflict with the rival Palestinian political party Fatah, which led to a split of the Palestinian Authority in 2007. Tel Aviv has blamed the group for escalating tensions in recent years.

    Related:

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    Israel Delivered Largest Strike on Hamas Targets in Gaza in 4 Years - Netanyahu
    Watch Israeli Fighter Jet Striking Alleged Terror Targets in Gaza After Hamas' Attack
    Tags:
    strike, weapons, warplanes, rocket, Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Palestine, Israel
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