IDF responds to Gaza rockets with attacks on Hamas targets

Monday's exchange of fire was the latest in a surge of low-level violence over the past week.

December 11, 2017 20:42
1 minute read.
IDF soldier rides an APC toward the Gaza border

An IDF soldier rides an armored personnel carrier toward a staging area near the Gaza border. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The IDF responded to rocket fire from Gaza late Monday with tank fire and air strikes on Hamas positions in southern Gaza.

Earlier Monday night, a rocket was launched from Gaza that fell in an open area of the Eshkol Regional Council. No one was wounded in that attack.

The IDF issued a standard statement that said it considered Hamas solely responsible for any fire that comes from Gaza. But as of press time, it had not been determined whether the rockets were fired by Hamas, Islamic Jihad or a smaller terrorist group.

Often, the discovery of which group was directly involved in a rocket attack has had an impact on whether altercations between the IDF and Gaza escalate.

On Sunday, the IDF destroyed a Hamas attack tunnel that reached into Israeli territory, leading to threats of retaliation from Hamas.

Last week, IDF aircraft struck two Hamas targets in Gaza in response to earlier rocket fire.

A commander in Hamas’s armed wing, Mahar Atalla, reportedly died from wounds inflicted in clashes with the IDF earlier in the day. Hamas confirmed that two of its gunmen were killed in the bombings.

A Hamas source confirmed that the two men killed in the strikes belonged to the group, which has urged Palestinians to keep up confrontation with Israeli forces.

On Friday, two rockets struck the city of Sderot in Israel’s South.

The rockets caused damage to several vehicles, though no casualties were reported.

Reports have surfaced that the Nasser Salah Eddine Brigades, an armed wing of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committee operating out of the Gaza, had claimed responsibility for Friday’s rocket fire.

Israeli Air Force fighter jets reportedly hit two targets – a Hamas training compound and an arms depot.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said at least 30 people, including six children, were wounded in the retaliatory air strikes.

Also last week, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a rocket fired toward Israel from Gaza.

Anna Ahronheim and Reuters contributed to this report.

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