IAF fighter jet during the Red Flag joint exercise at Nellis air force base in Nevada .
(photo credit: COURTESY IDF SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)
The Israel Air Force struck a Hamas target in northern Gaza overnight between Sunday and Monday in retaliation for a Gazan rocket attack on southern Israel hours earlier.
Terrorists fired two rockets at Israel on Sunday night; one exploded in an open area in the Eshkol region, near the southern Gaza Strip, causing no injuries or damage, and the second failed to cross into Israel, though it triggered warning sirens.
The rocket that fell short set off sirens in the Sha’ar Hanegev region, near the northeastern Gaza Strip, sending locals fleeing for cover. The rocket that did explode in Israel did not set off sirens, as it was headed toward an unpopulated area, army sources said.
In recent weeks, the air force struck targets in the Gaza Strip after a number of rockets were fired at communities in the western Negev.
The Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, a Salafist organization affiliated with Islamic State, claimed credit for the attacks.
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.
It is responsible for a growing number of rocket attacks from Gaza. It hopes to spark another 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.