Israel responds to Hamas rocket attack with airstrikes on military sites in the Gaza Strip
Israeli airstrikes hit Hamas military sites in the Gaza Strip on Saturday in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave ruled by the Islamist movement, the Israeli army said.
“A short time ago, in response to the rocket attack, (Israeli army) planes hit a number of Hamas terror targets in the Gaza Strip,” the army said in a statement. a statement.
The strikes came after Hamas “launched a rocket…at Israeli civilians in southern Israel”, he added, adding that the projectile was intercepted by Israeli air defenses.
“The Israeli aircraft targeted a weapons manufacturing site located inside a Hamas military post and three other military posts belonging to Hamas,” the statement said.
Fireballs shot through the air, leaving black smoke drifting across the territory, after the strikes.
The military said hours earlier that air raid sirens had been sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon and in areas near the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The exchange came after three Palestinians were killed and 12 others injured Friday in an Israeli army raid in Jenin, a stronghold of armed Palestinian factions in the occupied West Bank.
The men were killed when Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle they were traveling in, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
The Israeli army said soldiers came under fire during an operation to search for weapons.
One of the dead was a Hamas commander, the group said, vowing the killings “will not go unpunished”.
In April, Israeli warplanes also hit Gaza after rocket fire. The Hamas-controlled coastal enclave of Gaza with a population of 2.3 million has been under Israeli blockade since 2007.
The exchange came after nearly a month of deadly violence centered on Israel’s annexed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest site.
Last year, Israel and Hamas fought an 11-day war sparked in part by unrest around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the holiest site for Jews, who call it the Mount of Temple.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. It then annexed East Jerusalem in a move never recognized by most of the international community.
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