Gaza front escalates as Hamas fires rockets, IDF responds

For the first time in two weeks, Palestinian terror groups fired rockets at communities in southern Israel, triggering a strong Israeli response.   

By: World Israel News Staff

Palestinian terror groups operating in Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip fired three rockets at southern Israel early Monday morning, the army said, after Israeli aircraft hit a number of targets in the coastal enclave in response to numerous arson attacks by Palestinians the day before.

One of the rockets landed in Gaza, according to the IDF spokesman.

Red alert sirens were heard in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, the Ashkelon industrial zone, Kibbutz Yad Mordechai and Netiv Ha’asara.

Neither Israel nor Hamas reported injuries.

These were the first rockets to be fired at Israel in over two weeks, breaking an unofficial ceasefire that has largely held since a day-long flare-up in late May.

Before the Palestinian rocket attack, Israeli fighter jets carried out strikes on three military compounds and one weapons manufacturing plant belonging to the Hamas terror group, which rules the Strip, in northern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said.

In response to the rockets, IAF fighter jets struck nine military targets in two military compounds and in a munition manufacturing site belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the northern Gaza Strip.

 



“These are terrorist acts that endanger Israeli residents living in southern Israel and damage extensive areas in Israeli territory,” the IDF spokesperson commented.

“We have fired warning shots against groups who were responsible for the arson and destruction in Israel, and have carried out attacks against infrastructure used by these groups. The IDF’s intelligence and operational capabilities will allow it to increase these strikes as necessary. We are determined to continue to act with increasing intensity against these acts of terror as long as required, using the variety of tools at its disposal.”

The army said it hit a total of nine targets spread out between the three Hamas facilities, in response to flammable and explosive-laden kites and balloons launched from Gaza that have wreaked havoc in Israel over the past several weeks.

“The attack was carried out in response to the launching of incendiary and explosive kites and balloons at Israeli territory. This is terrorist activity that endangers the lives of southern residents and has damaged large amounts of land,” the military said.

Pictures and videos from the enclave showed large fireballs and smoke coming from one of the targets, apparently from secondary explosions caused by the Israeli missiles striking Hamas munitions.