An IAF F-15I fighter jet.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israel Air Force struck three terrorist targets in northern Gaza on Saturday, following two rocket attacks on the cities of Sderot and Ashkelon on Friday night.
One of the targets hit by the IAF was a Hamas telecommunications site.
The Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, a Salafist organization affiliated with Islamic State, claimed credit for both attacks.
One of the Palestinian rockets slammed into a residential area of Sderot, exploding and damaging a home and a nearby bus. No one was wounded in the attack. The rocket triggered sirens in Sderot and surrounding localities.
A few hours later, an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery shot down the Gazan rocket over Ashkelon. Warning sirens rang out across the city, sending residents fleeing for cover.
No one was wounded and there was no damage.
In recent months, the Omar Brigade – named after a key figure who helped Abu Musab al-Zarqawi set up and run al-Qaida in Iraq a decade ago – has attempted to challenge Hamas’s rule in the Strip.
The Omar Brigade is responsible for a growing number of rocket attacks from Gaza. It hopes to spark a new war with Israel that will weaken Hamas and enable it to fill the resulting power vacuum.
Hamas arrested members of the group following past rocket attacks, and has stepped up attempts to enforce the August 2014 truce with Israel.