Head of IDF's Southern Command: Hamas trying to prevent rocket fire

Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman says IDF will not launch operation in Gaza over sporadic rocket fire.

Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. [File] (photo credit: REUTERS)
Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. [File]
(photo credit: REUTERS)
OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman met with local authorities in the Gaza border communities on Sunday amid the recent rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip directed at Israel's southern communities.
"These are isolated rockets fired by terrorists in Gaza. The rockets explode in open fields and the IDF retaliates to the incidents but will not launch an operation in the Strip because of them. The IDF responds in accordance with the attacks," he said.
Turgeman also addressed the fact that a Salafist group, the Omar Brigades, had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
According to Turgeman, the IDF believes that Hamas wants the calm in the South to continue and is making efforts to prevent rocket fire from the Salafi group.
However, Turgeman added, Israel still sees Hamas as the party which is responsible for all action emanating from Gaza.
The latest rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza came Saturday night, landing in the Ashkelon area.
The Omar Brigades said via Twitter that the rocket was fired in protest of brigade members who are being held in Gaza prisons, as well as those conducting hunger strikes in Israeli prisons.
Security sources believe that the group is attacking Israel in the hope that Israel will strike Hamas targets in Gaza in response.
The IDF did indeed strike a terrorist site in northern Gaza in response to Saturday's rocket fire.