The IAF again bombed Hamas military targets in response to rockets fired at Israel. Is a full-blown conflict looming?
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) bombed six Hamas targets inside the Gaza Strip on Sunday night in response to three rockets that were fired at Israel.
Gaza-based terrorists fired three rockets at the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, in southern Israel, setting off the siren system in the area. One of the rockets exploded inside one of the communities, causing damage to a home. No one was harmed by the explosion, as the family was away for the Chanukah holiday.
In response to the rocket fire, IAF aircraft targeted a Hamas training compound in the northern Gaza Strip and other terror-related targets. Palestinian sources report that a Hamas naval base was hit in the strike. There were no reports of casualties.
While the Hamas terror group did not fire the rockets, “the IDF holds the Hamas terror organization accountable for this hostile act originating from Gaza,” an IDF spokesman stated after the strike.
Yair Farjoun, head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, said that residents of the area “expected security forces to respond forcefully and make it clear to the terrorists that Israel is determined to put a stop to rocket fire. We will not allow this situation to become routine.”
He called on the IDF to target the heads of the Hamas terror group, a move he said would bring to the cessation of the hostilities.
Recent weeks have seen a spike in rockets attacks from Gaza following President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital..
Some 20 rockets have been fired at Israel, and a total of 15 rockets have exploded in Israeli territory, the highest number of attacks since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
While tensions are high on the border with Gaza, the IDF estimates that Hamas is not seeking to escalate the situation or engage in a full-blown armed conflict with Israel for the time being. However, a continued exchange of fire could lead to a broader conflict.
Speaking to IDF Radio on Monday, Israeli minister Zeev Elkin said that no terror leader in Gaza was immune, and while the Hamas was already paying a heavy price for the attacks, Israel would step up its response to the rocket fire if needed.