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Hamas: Israel evades internal crises by attacking Gaza

Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]
Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman, 22 December 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]

Palestinian group Hamas on Sunday accused the Israeli government of escalating the situation in the Gaza Strip in an effort to evade its internal crises, reported Anadolu Agency.

Israeli warplanes carried out overnight airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian territory. No injuries were reported.

"The (military) escalation in Gaza is an attempt by Israel to export its domestic crises…particularly after the collapse of its security system in the wake of the jailbreak from Gilboa prison," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.

On Monday, six Palestinian inmates tunneled out of the high-security Gilboa prison in northern Israel. Israeli forces, however, have managed to capture four of them after a manhunt.

Gaza militants allegedly fired a rocket into Israel on Friday when two of the prisoners were apprehended and then again on Saturday, after two more escaped inmates were caught. The Israeli military said it struck targets belonging to Hamas. There were no reports of casualties.

Read: Israel extends detention of 4 Palestinians caught after jailbreak

The jailbreak has been hailed as a "big victory" by Palestinians, while Israelis decried it as a major security and intelligence failure.

The Hamas spokesman said Israel will not succeed in changing the rules of engagement with the Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza.

Home to more than 2 million people, the Gaza Strip has been reeling under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007, badly affecting livelihood in the seaside enclave.

Read: Who are Palestinian escapees from Israel's Gilboa prison?

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