The Israel Air Force attacked a Hamas military position in the southern Gaza Strip overnight Tuesday in response to rocket fire at the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council for the fifth night in a row.The Code Red rocket alert siren sounded at around 10:45pm in the communities of Zikim, Yad Mordechai and Netiv HaAsara near the Strip’s northern border.A rocket was found by security officials Wednesday morning in an open area near Netiv HaAsara, causing no damage or injuries.
"In response to the rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel earlier today, the IAF targeted a Hamas military compound in the southern Gaza Strip," said the IDF Spokesperson Unit.Tensions along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip have been high as of late, after US President Donald Trump announced that the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. His declaration set off riots across the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza and the wider Arab world. Earlier on Tuesday two Islamic Jihad militants were killed in what was initially blamed on an Israeli army drone strike. The group later posted a statement on its website saying that the two men were on a “jihadist mission” and did not explicitly blame their deaths on Israel.Several rockets have also been fired towards Israeli territory over the past week and while Israeli defense officials believe that Islamic Jihad militants are responsible for the rocket fire, the IDF retaliates against Hamas targets in the Strip with airstrikes and artillery fire. On Monday night, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a rocket fired towards the city of Ashkelon, with the Israeli army retaliating almost immediately with airstrikes and artillery fire towards Hamas positions. Sirens sounded in communities across southern Israel Friday night after rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip. According to the army, one rocket was intercepted and another hit the southern city of Sderot, damaging a kindergarten and several vehicles but causing no injuries.While Israel holds Hamas solely responsible for all rocket fire launched from the Strip, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis has said that Israel has seen Hamas as “taking active measures to prevent further rocket fire.”JPost Staff contributed to this story.
Gaza border brief with Seth J. Frantzman