IDF strikes Hamas targets after Palestinians fire dozens of rockets at Israel

Israel struck Hamas positions in Gaza after the Hamas terror group launched dozens of rockets at the Jewish state.

By: AP

Israel struck targets in the Gaza Strip after dozens of rockets were launched from the coastal territory ruled by the Islamic terror group, Hamas, on Wednesday, the Israeli military said.

The exchange came amid continued attempts by Egypt to broker a broad cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas.

Sirens wailed in southern Israel, warning of incoming rockets from Gaza and Israeli media reported two people were wounded by shrapnel in the border town of Sderot.

At least one Palestinian rocket hit a house, Israeli media reported and showed footage of houses and cars pockmarked with shrapnel. Reports said it wasn’t clear if one of those hurt was wounded by a rocket or by debris from the rocket defense system.

The military said it identified 36 rockets launched from Gaza at Israel and the Iron Dome defense system intercepted several of them.

Gaza residents reported several Israeli airstrikes after the Palestinian rocket barrage. Israel’s military later confirmed it struck Gaza, saying it hit 12 Hamas sites in all, including “an offensive maritime terror tunnel … several terror sites in military compounds throughout the Gaza Strip … rocket manufacturing facilities and a central logistical military complex.”

Israel’s military earlier said shots were fired from Gaza at civilians working on the security barrier separating the territory and Israel, damaging a vehicle. Israel said it struck a Hamas post in retaliation. No casualties were reported.

Israel has also been battling large fires caused by kites and balloons rigged with incendiary devices or burning rags launched from Gaza that have destroyed thousands of acres of forests, burned crops and killed wildlife and livestock.

The almost daily airborne arson attacks have been part of months of weekly border riots led by the Hamas terror group aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after it took control of the territory in 2007.

Over the past four months, 158 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, with Hamas identifying a significant large percentage of the casualties as members of, or associated with, the terror group.

Israel says it is defending its border and nearby communities and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the fence and carry out attacks.