Fighter planes and helicopters targeted Hamas positions in central Gaza, including a military post, said the Israeli military, which earlier reported two projectiles had been fired into the Jewish state from Gaza.

Smoke rises after an Israeli aircraft bombed a multi-storey building in Gaza City on August 9, 2018.
Smoke rises after an Israeli aircraft bombed a multi-storey building in Gaza City on August 9, 2018. (Reuters)

The Israeli military said its air force had attacked Hamas positions in Gaza on Saturday in retaliation to rocket fire from the Palestinian territory into Israel.

Reports of exchange of fire between both sides has escalated since last month after US President Donald Trump unveiled his Middle East plan, that was angrily rejected by the Palestinians as a capitulation to Israeli objectives.

Fighter planes and helicopters targeted Hamas positions in central Gaza, including a military post, said the Israeli military, which earlier reported two projectiles had been fired into the Jewish state from Gaza.

Following the rocket fire, Israel announced it would cancel a slight easing of the blockade on Gaza.

"The extension of the fishing zone, the restoration of 500 commercial permits and the delivery of cement have been cancelled," COGAT, the Israel defence ministry unit that oversees civilian activities in the Palestinian territories, said in a statement.

Ever since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza that has taken an enormous toll on the coastal territory's economy and played havoc with residents' livelihoods.

Hamas and Israel have fought three wars since 2008 but over the past year, the movement had gradually shaped an informal truce with Israel, under which the Jewish state has eased its crippling blockade of Gaza.

The United Nations says Israel's blockade is "a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law and amounts to collective punishment."

Source: AFP