Israel Launches Strikes at Hamas Targets in Gaza

ISRAEL Launches Strikes at Hamas Targets in Gaza in response to Rocket Attacks.

Israel says its military has struck back at Hamas targets in Gaza in response to a rocket attack launched from the Palestinian enclave. It is understood that the Israeli air force struck two rocket ammunition manufacturing sites, a military compound and “underground infrastructures”, the Israel Defence Forces said on Sunday.

A rocket was fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Saturday evening, according to the army, shortly after warning sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. The army statement gave no further details, but emergency services said they had no notification of anyone wounded and Israeli media said the projectile fell on open ground.

The latest reported fire from the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave came after two rockets were fired from the coastal strip into neighbouring Israel in the early hours of last Sunday.

There were no casualties or damage in that attack. Israel struck back with fighter planes, helicopters and tanks, hitting what the army described as legitimate Hamas targets. There was no claim of responsibility for the 15 November rocket fire, but Israel routinely holds Islamist group Hamas responsible for all attacks originating from its territory.

The Hamas terror group sent messages to Israel that claimed the rockets were fired accidentally, set off by lightning during a thunderstorm, an explanation that the IDF has apparently accepted.

Lightning has been blamed for previous rocket launches from the Gaza Strip. In October 2018, a rocket destroyed a home in the city of Beersheba and another landed off the coast of central Israel; and in March 2019, a rocket struck a home in central Israel, injuring seven and causing massive damage to the structure. In both of these cases, which came amid periods of heightened tensions, lightning was alleged to be the trigger for the launch, setting off rockets that had been preemptively primed and aimed at central Israel.

Though Israel is involved in ongoing talks with the Hamas terror group regarding a long-term ceasefire agreement, recent weeks have seen an uptick in violence emanating from Gaza.

Hamas considered a terrorist group by Israel, seized control of Gaza from the rival Palestinian movement Fatah in 2007 in a near civil war. Since then Hamas has fought three devastating wars with Israel in the coastal territory where about two million Palestinians live. Israel has since maintained a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, to isolate Hamas.

 


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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