Israel strikes Hamas targets in response to rocket fire

IDF retaliates after terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at Israel on Thursday.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The Israel Defense Forces attacked Hamas terrorist targets in Gaza in retaliation for rocket fire directed at Israel, the IDF said Friday.

“IDF fighter jets and aircraft had recently attacked a short time ago munitions manufacturing site, a weapons smuggling tunnel and a military post of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Office said in a statement. “The attack was carried out in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory earlier tonight.”

Late on Thursday, at the end of Israel’s 73rd Independence Day, terrorists fired a rocket that exploded in an open field near the Israeli city of Sderot.

There were no injuries or damage reported in the incident.

The launching of the rocket triggered the “red alert” system in Sderot and the adjacent farming communities of Nir Am and Gevim. When IDF radar picks up the rocket launch and triggers the alarm, the roughly 25,000 residents have a maximum of only 15 seconds to seek shelter before an incoming rocket explodes.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system did not intercept the rocket because it was tracked to land in an open field. With the narrow time window from rocket detection to impact and the closeness of the rocket’s expect path to populated areas, the warning system is automatically triggered within the first few seconds of the launch and the Iron Dome system then locks on and fires only if it determines the final trajectory of the rocket poses a threat to life.

There has been a general decline in rocket firings from Gaza this year owing to an ongoing undeclared ceasefire between Israel and the Iran-backed Hamas terror group that controls Gaza. However, Israeli policy is to respond militarily to every rocket fired at Israel from Gaza.

In the most recent serious rocket incident last month, terrorists fired a longer-range Grad rocket at the Israel city of Beersheba during an election campaign visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

That rocket also exploded in an open area, causing no injuries or damage.