Gaza terrorists fire rockets at Israel; IAF retaliates

IAF

An IAF fighter jet in action. (Ofer Zidon/Flash90)

Residents in the south ran for cover over the weekend as terrorists from Gaza repeatedly fired rockets. Israel holds Hamas, which rules the Strip, responsible.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Tens of thousands of civilians ran for cover Friday night when terrorists in Gaza fired several rockets at Israel’s south.

One rocket landed near a home in Sderot, causing damage to the building and a bus. There were no injuries.

This was the 11th rocket from Gaza to hit Israeli territory since January 2015. Several others have been fired at Israel, but fell short of their targets.

A few hours later, terrorists fired a rocket at the city of Ashkelon. It was intercepted by an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery that was deployed by the Israel Air Force (IAF) a few days ago due to the increasing violence in Jerusalem and in anticipation of such an attack.

In response, the IAF attacked three Hamas terror targets in the Gaza Strip. The IDF reported accurate hits. One of the targets was a Hamas telecommunications site.

The Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, a terror group associated with the Islamic State (ISIS) organization, claimed responsibility for the attack from Gaza.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks emanating Gaza, which is under their control, and therefore retaliated against the Hamas targets.

“These evening’s acts of aggression are a clear reminder of Gaza’s commitment to violent terrorism,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said on Saturday. “Israeli civilians should not have to live in fear; no one should. Hamas is the ruling power in the Gaza Strip and is therefore responsible, accountable and culpable for every attack emanating from Gaza.”

IAF drone

An IAF drone takes off. (Tsahi Ben-Ami/Flash90)

Sirens went off again in southern Israel on Saturday night, but the IDF announced that they were false alarms and that it was investigating the cause.

The sharp increase in rocket fire from Gaza over recent months has mostly been the work of an ISIS affiliate operating out of Gaza. The latest attack before this past weekend occurred in late August.

In a separate incident, Hamas claimed Saturday night that it had captured an IAF drone flying over the northern Gaza city of Beit Lahiya.

The al-Raim news agency, affiliated with Hamas, reported that members of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades took control of the drone after it had crashed.

Hamas has claimed success in the past in apprehending IAF drones flying reconnaissance missions over Gaza.