A Palestinian in Gaza died early Sunday after being wounded in a series of retaliatory Israeli airstrikes, Gaza medical sources said.
The fatality was identified as Abdel Karim Zatuniya, an elderly man serving as a guard at the barracks in the Zeitun area, south-east of Gaza city, who was wounded in an airstrike late Saturday night in which four other people were wounded. No militant faction in Gaza announced Zatuniya as a member.
Three other Saturday night airstrikes — near the Karni crossing east of Gaza city, east of Khan Younis and at an empty house in Rafah — resulted in no further casualties.
The Israeli military confirmed launching the strikes, and in a statement early Sunday said its aircraft “targeted a terror tunnel and a weapon manufacturing facility in the northern Gaza Strip, a terror tunnel in the central Gaza Strip and an additional terror tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip,” noting direct hits.
“These sites were targeted in response to the rocket fire on communities in southern Israel,” the statement read, noting that a Friday night rocket from Gaza that struck between two houses in the Hof Ashkelon area had lightly injured an Israeli woman.
Earlier Saturday night, a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel causing no casualties or damage, an Israeli police spokesman said.
“A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at the Eshkol region. It landed in an open area without causing any damage or injuries,” Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.
Speaking in Tehran on Saturday, Hamas prime minister of Gaza Ismail Haniya reiterated his movement’s long-held stance it “will never recognise Israel,” as Palestinian efforts to form a temporary unity government headed by Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas continue.
Israel rejects efforts by Hamas to link up with Fatah, and views Hamas as a terrorist organisation and Iran as its sponsor and weapon supplier.
“The resistance will continue until all Palestinian land, including Al-Quds (Jerusalem), has been liberated and all the refugees have returned,” Haniya said.