An IAF F-15I fighter jet.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The IDF struck several Hamas targets over the course of Monday following early morning rocket fire and late afternoon gunfire from Gaza directed at troops.
Late Monday evening, Palestinian sources in Gaza reported a large strike in the central Gaza Strip, saying the Israel Air Force had hit a Hamas target in Shuja’iyya and that renewed artillery fire targeted Hamas outposts in the central Strip.
Ashraf Qidra, spokesman for the Hamas Health Ministry, said that two people from Khan Yunis were injured in the strikes and had been taken to the hospital.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in London, regarding the rocket attack and Israel’s response, that his directives are to respond with force to every missile attack.
“The two-and-a-half years since Operation Protective Edge were the two quietest years since the Six Day War,” he said, adding that Israel will be steadfast in responding to every attack, and will not permit a “drizzle” of missile attacks that go without a response.
Several hours earlier, IDF artillery shelled several Hamas targets in response to earlier gunfire targeting troops working on the Gaza border fence near Kissufim.
According to Palestinian reports,the IDF fired at two Hamas positions east of Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ahmed al-Mudalil said, “The continued Zionist aggression against Gaza cannot pass without the occupation paying a price,” the Palestinian Information Center posted on Twitter.
Earlier, the air force struck several Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire, the IDF stated.
The air strikes, which hit three Hamas targets in northern Gaza, came after the IDF fired tank rounds at Hamas targets in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya.
“The attacks were carried out in light of the events that occurred during the last month,” an army statement said.
According to Palestinian news agency Maan, a man in his 70s, identified as Muhammad Muhammad Mousa Saadallah, a local fisherman, was lightly wounded in an air strike and hospitalized.
The Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Information Center had reported earlier that there had been no damage or injuries after “the Zionist occupation’s tanks on Monday fired two shells at Palestinian resistance locations in the northern Gaza Strip.”
Rocket alert sirens sounded early Monday morning in several southern Israeli communities in Ashkelon Regional Council, bordering the northern Gaza Strip. According to the army, a rocket hit in an open area and security forces were sweeping the area for remnants. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in the attack.
Both Hamas and splinter Islamic organizations have launched rocket attacks into Israel. There has been no official claim of responsibility for the rocket attack, but Israel holds Hamas responsible for all fire coming from the Strip.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassim told the Hamas-affiliated Al-Risalah that the group “holds the Israeli occupation fully accountable for the repercussions of the latest escalation that was launched against the Gaza Strip.”
Adam Rasgon and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.