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Hamas mortar fire targets Israeli military bases

GAZA CITY — The Hamas regime has intensified mortar attacks on Israel.


Hamas's military said it has targeted military positions along the Israeli border of the Gaza Strip. Hamas said it fired at least 33 mortar shells toward four Israeli military bases on March 19. Other Palestinian militias fired another 20 mortars toward the Jewish state.

"The mortars directly targeted the Israeli military bases," Hamas said.

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The Israel Army has acknowledged the Hamas attacks, and sources said two civilians were injured and property was destroyed. The Israeli bases at Eshkol, Nahal Oz and Sufa were said to have been targeted.

The Army said two Hamas fighters were killed in Israeli retaliatory fire. A military source said the Gaza shelling, which included the firing of Russian-origin Fagot 9K111 anti-tank missiles, was the heaviest barrage since the war with Hamas in December 2008.

Hamas was said to have fired a range of mortars, including 60mm and 120mm shells. Hamas said the shelling was in retaliation for what it termed "continued Israeli air strikes and violations against the Gaza Strip."

On March 15, the Israel Navy intercepted a Liberian-flagged ship that contained at least 50 tons of weapons sent from Iran. The Navy said the weapons, including anti-ship missiles and mortars, were destined for the Gaza Strip.

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