The Israeli air force launched on Tuesday several raids in Gaza Strip, killing at least four Palestinians. In the latest raid, two Palestinians were killed in an air strike on central Gaza Strip, near the border with Israel, officials said medical sources in Gaza conveyed. The two Palestinians were killed in an air raid near the town of Deir Al-Balah, but their bodies were recovered in the morning, when ambulances could reach the site of the raid, medical sources said.
Both were aged 17 and tried to approach the border fence when they were hit by the aircraft, witnesses said. An Israeli military spokesman confirmed a strike on "a terrorist commando spotted trying to plant an explosive device near the security fence in central Gaza."
Israel said the raids came in response for rocket firing from the Palestinian enclave. The firing on Israel was claimed by the military wing of Hamas. This is the first time in several months that Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, publicly acknowledges its responsibility for such firing. The Israeli attacks, according to Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman, led the military wing of the movement to "adopt a firm attitude" and launch rockets.
"This is our response to the Zionist crimes. This will continue if they (the Israelis) are continuing their raids against Gaza," warned the Ezzaddin al Qassam Brigades.
Over dozens of rockets fired from Gaza have landed inside the Israeli territory. A state of emergency was declared in the Israeli towns along the border with Gaza. The army recommended residents not to leave shelters.