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Hamas, Islamic Jihad claim joint attacks on Israel

The Ezzeddin al -Qassam Brigades and the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wings of Palestinian resistance factionsHamas and Islamic Jihad respectively, said Tuesday that they had launched dozens of rockets – both jointly and separately – at Israeli sites near the border with the blockaded Gaza Strip. Together, the two resistance groups fired a total of 51 rockets at different Israeli towns and military sites, according to Tuesday's joint statement.
The Qassam Brigades, for its part, said it had fired two locally-made Qassam rockets at Israel's coastal city of Ashkelon.
It also said it had fired 21 mortar shells at concentrations of Israeli military vehicles in several Israeli towns, including Eshkol.
The Al-Quds Brigades, meanwhile, said it had fired 31 mortar shells at military vehicles deployed east of the town of Khuza'a in the Gaza Strip and at Israeli towns, including Eshkol.
The Israeli government said Tuesday that medical crews had treated 40 Israelis in Ashkelon injured by rocket fire.
Earlier Tuesday, the Qassam Brigades said it had launched several rockets at Israeli capital Tel Aviv and the city of Haifa in response to an Israeli strike one day earlier that targeted two multi-story residential buildings in the Gaza Strip.
Since hostilities began on July 7, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip from air, land and sea with the stated aim of halting rocket fire from the beleaguered Palestinian territory.
At least 2133 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 11,000 others injured in relentless Israeli attacks, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Thousands of homes, meanwhile, have been partially or completely destroyed in the offensive.
Over the same period, at least 68 Israelis – 64 soldiers and four civilians – have been killed, according to Israeli figures.
The number of Palestinian fatalities from Israel's current offensive has now surpassed the combined death toll from two previous operations against Gaza, including Israel's "Operation Cast Lead" in 2008/09 in which at least 1500 Palestinians were killed over a three-week period.
By Ola Attalah

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