(photo credit:AP [file] )
IAF planes overnight Friday attacked targets in the northern and southern Gaza Strip.
The IDF Spokesperson Unit said that "a terrorist cell were attacked in the northern Gaza Strip, and a smuggling tunnel in southern Gaza."
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"Specific targets were identified, and all planes returned safely to their base," the statement continued. "The attack is in response to a high level of attacks against Israeli targets."
"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to attack soldiers and civilians, and will continue to act against any organization that uses terrorism against Israel. The IDF views Hamas solely responsible for what is going on in the Gaza Strip, and preserving peace in it, " IDF statement said.
The attack came as a response to a Kassam rocket that was shot into Israeli territory early Friday evening.
The rocket exploded in an open field near Ashkelon. No injuries or damage was reported.
On Friday a Hamas strongman in Gaza said the group does not want an
escalation in fighting with Israel despite a rise in violence in recent
Mahmoud Zahar said Hamas is "committed to the calm" that
has largely held since Operation Cast Lead in the coastal strip nearly
two years ago. But there has been an uptick in rocket and mortar fire
into Israel and Israeli military airstrikes on Gaza recently.
Zahar insisted the unofficial cease-fire is not a sign of weakness. He spoke to thousands of supporters after Friday prayers in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis.
Zahar also hinted that Hamas was using [the calm] to rearm and
reorganize, and criticized rivals in the Palestinian Authority for fresh
arrests of Hamas members in the West Bank.
On Thursday, the United Nations said that both Israel and Hamas had
given indications that they want to reduce tensions in and around the
Gaza Strip, Reuters reported.
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