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Hamas asks Egypt to pressure Israel to abide by Gaza truce

Hamas says airstrikes a 'major violation' of Gaza ceasefire while Israel says they were in retaliation for a rocket attack
Israeli airstrikes early Saturday on Gaza were the first since the latest war ended (AFP)

Hours after Israeli warplanes hit Gaza for the first time since August, a Hamas official called on Egypt to pressure Israel to abide by the terms of the Gaza ceasefire deal.

"Israeli airstrikes on empty plots of land in southern Gaza are a major violation of the Egypt-mediated cease-fire agreement," Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas' Deputy Head of the Political Office told reporters on Saturday.

"The Palestinian people are resilient and are not intimidated by such brutal acts," he added.

Israeli warplanes staged two airstrikes early Saturday with one hitting Hiteen camp, a military training site that belongs to the Palestinian Resistance Committee, one of the active military groups in Gaza. Missiles also landed in empty fields west of Khan Younis.

The Israeli army said the air strikes "targeted a Hamas terror infrastructure site" and were launched in retaliation for a rocket attack on southern Israel on Friday.

Palestinian sources said they were unaware of rockets being fired from Gaza.

No causalities were reported in the first Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 26 August, according to Gaza's health ministry, though they did cause power outages and panic, according to MEE's contributor Mohamed Omer.

Israel's 51-day offensive against the Gaza Strip left around 2,160 Palestinians dead and more than 11,000 others injured in July and August.

The offensive came to an end on 26 August after Palestinian factions signed a cease-fire deal with Israel under Egyptian mediation.

On Saturday, Egyptian officials announced they would temporarily open the Rafah border crossing on Sunday to allow stranded Palestinians to return to Gaza. The crossing is the only access point to the Gaza Strip not controlled by Israel.