IAF strikes underground rocket launchers in Gaza following mortar fire

IAF strike comes after Palestinian mortar attack; hostilities come one year after Operation Pillar of Defense.

November 14, 2013 15:15
1 minute read.
An Israel Air Force jet

IAF jet 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The air force bombed two underground rocket launchers in northern Gaza on Thursday, in response to a mortar attack on southern Israel earlier in the day.

Palestinians did not report any injuries or damage in the strikes.

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The Palestinian attack and IAF reply occurred a year to the day that Israel launched the week-long Operation Pillar of Defense, which began with the targeted assassination of Hamas military wing head Ahmed Jabari, and which was aimed at reducing Hamas rocket fire on southern Israeli communities.

Earlier this month, an IAF missile struck the entrance to a Hamas attack tunnel, hidden under a Palestinian hothouse in Gaza, killing three senior Hamas commanders who were experts in tunnel warfare and rockets. In October, the IDF uncovered a 1.7 kilometer-long attack tunnel leading from Khan Yunis into Israel, complete with an electrical supply and phone lines.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Hamas is manufacturing and storing rockets in Gaza residential areas, and although Israel will strictly uphold international law, it will not “sit on its hands” in the face of terrorist threats.

Netanyahu’s words came during a visit to the IDF Gaza Division to mark one year since Operation Pillar of Defense. He noted that following the operation, rocket and missile attacks from Gaza dropped by 98 percent.

Reuters and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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