The military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, Al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades, has claimed responsibility for the launching of rockets in the Gaza Strip towards Eshkol, in southern Israel.Fighters from the group fired four rockets at the Eshkol regional council, three in the direction of Sderot, and an additional three towards other Israeli towns.
The statement claims that the shelling is part of its ‘retaliation to the Israeli crimes against our Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the ongoing violations against prisoners.’
According to Ma’an, this is the first time that a Palestinian faction has claimed responsibility for the upsurge in rockets launched from Gaza since Israel first began its massive arrest campaign across the West Bank, in their alleged pursuit of three missing Israeli settlers, one of whom is reportedly an Israeli soldier.
There has been no evidence of an abduction to surface and no indication of where the three teens might be.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu warned, today, after an overnight air strike which followed a surge in resistance rocket fire, that Israel is ready to expand operations in the Gaza Strip.
At his weekly cabinet meeting, he said that the now almost-nightly military strikes on Gaza could be expanded, should the need arise, AFP has reported.
A ceasefire was reached between Hamas and Israel in 2012, after a week-long war which left 170 Palestinians and four Israelis dead. Hamas is reported to be observing the ceasefire, still, with armed groups from other Palestinian factions regularly fire rockets from Gaza into Israel.
Most of the projectiles, however, land in open areas without causing injuries or damages.
So far, nearly 600 Palestinians have been arrested in the recent campaign — mostly Hamas members — with more than 130 Palestinians injured and another five killed.
Al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades reportedly has no connection with other local popular resistance committees in the West Bank.
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Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, and continues into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.