GAZA CITY, Palestine

Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Saturday warned Israel against continuing its military escalation in the Gaza Strip.

“Israel’s escalation in Gaza, the bombardment of the resistance positions and violations against Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque are part of its aggressive policies on our people,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.

The warning came hours after Israel struck several Hamas positions in Gaza following rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.

Barhoum held Israel responsible for the consequences of what he described as “racist provocations” by Israeli soldiers and settlers against Palestinians in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“All these ‘crimes’ and violations will not deter us from continuing all forms of struggle to defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said, going on to call on the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Muslim nations to shoulder their responsibilities towards defending the Palestinian people.

Tension has been running high in recent days amid clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces and settlers in Jerusalem.

Several extremist Jewish groups have called for attacking Palestinians in response to what they claim as Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the city.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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