BEIRUT

Middle East

Hamas says striking Dimona shows Israel's 'weakness'

A Palestinian woman leaves her house following overnight Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on July 10, 2014. (AFP/MOHAMMED ABED)

GAZA CITY, Palestine: Hamas remained defiant Thursday, claiming rockets fired at the southern city of Dimona by its military wing the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades showed Israel's weakness, while criticizing Israeli targeting of woman and children in Gaza.

"It [the rockets fired at Dimona] shows the weakness and vulnerability of the Israeli occupation," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in an early Thursday statement. "Our responses [to Israeli strikes] are still in their early stages."

The Israeli army said Wednesday that three rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip at Dimona. No casualties were reported.

Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for striking Dimona, which houses Israel's nuclear reactor, for the first time.

In a statement, the group said it had fired three M75 rockets at Dimona, which is located nearly 65 kilometers from Gaza.

Hamas also dismissed Israel’s targeting of woman and children in their assault on Gaza as proof of the Jewish state's “failure.”

“Targeting woman and children only proves the failure of the enemy [Israel] in confronting the resistance,” the group said in a statement. "The [Israeli] occupation will regret perpetrating these crimes."

Meanwhile at least 75 Palestinians, including several women and children, have been killed by Israel since Monday, according to medical sources.

Israel has launched a military offensive - dubbed "Operation Protective Edge" - with the stated aim of staunching rocket fire from Gaza.

It has continued to pound the territory with airstrikes, while ground troops remain massed on the Gaza Strip's borders in advance of a possible ground assault.

 

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