Israel strikes Hamas targets after rockets fired from Gaza

IAF plane. (Flash90/Yonatan Sindel)

Israeli aircraft hit military sites associated with the Hamas terror group’s rulers early Saturday after two rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave.

By World Israel News and AP

An airstrike Saturday morning represented Israel’s first strike against Hamas since the start of this week’s cross-border fighting with another Gaza terror group, the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad. After terrorists launched hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians, Islamic Jihad appeared to agree to a shaky cease-fire on Thursday, which it promptly breached with more rocket fire.

On Tuesday, Israel assassinated a senior Islamic Jihad commander in an airstrike.

Throughout the week, Israel had refrained from attacking Hamas, which has kept to the sidelines, adhering to understandings reached through Egyptian mediators after previous rounds of fighting with Israel.

But Israel’s military on Saturday reiterated its long-held position that Hamas was “responsible for events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it,” following the launch of several rockets after the Egyptian-brokered deal took effect.

Israel said Saturday that its air defenses intercepted two rockets coming from Gaza. In response, Israel struck a Hamas military camp and a naval base. There were no reports of injuries and no immediate comment from Hamas.

The new rocket fire could potentially be attributed to other, smaller terror groups or some factions within Islamic Jihad who are not satisfied with the terms of the cease-fire.

During this week’s fighting, Israeli airstrikes killed 34 Palestinians, the majority of which were affiliated with terror groups. There were no Israeli deaths, but rockets slammed into homes and an elder care facility, injuring one of its residents.

The fighting brought life in both Gaza and southern Israel to a standstill. Dozens of Israelis were treated for injuries as they ran for bomb shelters or stress symptoms.

Ebin Sandler: