IAF strikes Gaza in response to rockets fired on southern Israel

Palestinians fire 2 rockets at near site of former prime minister's burial ceremony at Negev ranch; no injuries, damage reported.

Gaza rocket at sunset  (photo credit: REUTERS/ Darren Whiteside)
Gaza rocket at sunset
(photo credit: REUTERS/ Darren Whiteside)
The Israel Air Force struck two targets in Gaza on Monday evening in response to rocket fire on southern Israel earlier in the day. The rockets, which landed in fields in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, came shortly after the completion of the funeral service for former prime minister Ariel Sharon in the nearby Sycamore Ranch.
The IDF said the targets the IAF hit were a military compound and a terror infrastructure site, adding that both strikes hit their targets accurately.
Both targets belonged to Hamas, which the IDF holds responsible for failing to prevent Monday’s rocket fire.
The rockets landed in open fields and did not cause damages or injuries.
Earlier on Monday, Israel had beefed up security for Sharon’s funeral near the Gaza border and warned Hamas not to allow rocket fire during the ceremony, which many international dignitaries attended.
An Israeli security source said Israel had “passed the message” to Gaza authorities to prevent any rocket fire during the funeral.
“It was made clear to them that tomorrow would be a very bad day for anyone there to test Israel’s patience,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Security sources said Israel had deployed an Iron Dome rocket interceptor near Sharon’s funeral site at his beloved Sycamore Ranch, which had been hit by Gaza-launched rockets in the past.
On December 26, the IAF struck two targets in Gaza in response to the firing of two rockets on southern Israel within a 24-hour period.
Earlier that week, a mortar fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council after a string of mortar fire failed to reach its destination, falling inside the Palestinian territory.
Reuters and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this story.