Israeli tanks and artillery resumed their concentrated pounding of populated areas in northern Gaza Strip Wednesday, alleging they were responding to Palestinian homemade shells fired at Israeli settlements close to the Strip.

A military source claimed that the Israeli air force will increase the frequency of air strikes on Gaza, and will intensify, along with the land and navy forces, the bombardment of the Strip from air, sea, and land, alleging that around 30 Palestinian homemade missiles have been fired recently around the Gaza Strip.

The Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, and the Nasser Salahuddin Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, claimed responsibility for targeting an Israeli military jeep patrolling the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip early Thursday morning.

The two armed wings affirmed in a joint statement they issued Wednesday that they will continue on the resistance path, stressing that that the Palestinian people who are under occupation have a legitimate right under international law to defend themselves. Last week Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni affirmed that Palestinian fighters who target Israeli soldiers cannot be classified as engaging in ‘terrorism’.

Israeli forces have been shelling northern Gaza with 100 – 300 artillery shells a day for the last two weeks.  At least 19 Palestinians have been killed by the shelling during that time period, including a 12-year old girl and a 13-year old boy.