Israel strikes Gaza after rocket fire

Rocket fire comes following death of Palestinian teen along border fence

Israel struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after rockets were fired toward southern communities on Friday night from the coastal enclave.
The IDF said one of the targets in the airstrikes included a Hamas military compound in the northern Gaza Strip.
“The IDF looks gravely upon the firing of any kind of weapons toward Israeli territory, and will continue to take whatever action is necessary against attempts to harm Israeli civilians,” the military said. “The Hamas terror organization is responsible for all acts in and emanating from the Gaza Strip, and it will bear the consequences of all terror acts carried out against Israeli civilians.”
Incoming rocket sirens were activated at around 9 p.m. on Friday after a rocket was fired from the Hamas-run coastal enclave.
The projectile fell in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the Israel Air Force struck targets in the Strip.
Two hours later, sirens were activated in Ashkelon and the kibbutzim of Karmiya and Zikim. The military said the sirens went off due to “non-rocket fire.” According to Palestinian reports, the sirens were activated following anti-aircraft fire towards IAF jets.
On Wednesday, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett warned that Israel would respond to rocket fire whether any damage was caused or not.
“We deem a rocket that does not cause damage to be the same as a rocket that does,” he said. “Those who fire will be hit.”
The rocket fire comes after the death of 16-year-old Palestinian Fahed al-Astal, who was shot in the stomach by IDF troops during a protest along the border fence near Khan Yunis. Several other people were wounded.
According to the military, dozens of Palestinian rioters arrived at the border, attempting to sabotage the fence and throwing explosives at the IDF troops who responded with riot dispersal means.
The protest on Friday took place despite Hamas deciding to cancel the weekly “Great March of Return” protests for the third week in a row, as part of negotiations to reach a period of sustained calm between Gaza and Israel.
The IDF said the circumstances of Astal’s death would be investigated.
In the West Bank on Saturday night, IDF soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian who was throwing Molotov cocktails at an Israeli vehicle which was driving near the village of Beit Awwa.
Two other suspects were arrested and brought in for questioning by security forces.a

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