Occupied Jerusalem: The Israeli occupation regime carried said its aircraft hit Hamas targets in Gaza early Saturday after two rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave. The Israeli escalation risks an already tenuous truce. The overnight rocket attack came nearly two days after a ceasefire ended Israel attacks on Islamic Jihad. On Tuesday, the Israeli regime killed a top commander from the Iranian-backed group. Gaza medical officials said 34 Palestinians had been killed in the two days of fighting, almost half of them civilians. The dead include eight children and three women.

At the same time, hundreds of rocket launches by militants paralysed much of southern Israel and reached as far north as Tel Aviv, sending entire communities to shelters.

Throughout the Israeli regime onslaught, Hamas, the dominant force in Gaza, appeared to have stayed on the sidelines. That may have helped stem the escalation.

But the regime on Saturday reiterated its long-held position that Hamas was “responsible for events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it” following several firings of rockets by Palestinian fighters since the Egyptian-brokered deal took effect.

An Israeli air strike overnight Thursday struck a home in the central Gaza town of Deir Al Balah, killing eight people, including two women and five children under the age of 13. The air strike apparently targeted the home of an Islamic Jihad commander who was not there at the time. Neighbours said the air strike killed his brother, who was not involved in the group’s activities.