IDF strikes Gaza five times following recent mortar barrage
Gaza sources cite five wounded in extensive strikes, which the IDF says targeted smuggling tunnels and arms production sites, as well as terror bases.
The Israel Air Force initiated an extensive bombardment of terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip late Monday, in what the Israel Defense Forces is calling a retaliation for a recent barrage of mortar bombs and rockets launched by militants based in the coastal enclave.
The strike came shortly after a recent upsurge in the number of rockets being fired from Gaza, the peak being on Saturday when the southern part of the country was hit by over 50 mortars.
Gaza eyewitness reports claimed that the IAF attack included five separate strikes, with medical sources in Gaza reporting five wounded Palestinians in the strikes' wake, two of which were children.
The witnesses said missiles were fired at a Hamas security compound in Gaza City, a training camp north of the city, and a brickworks and metal foundry in northern Gaza, witnesses said.
In a statement by the IDF's Spokesman's Office, the army confirmed that strikes had taken place, saying the targets were "two sites for producing and storing weapons and two terror sites in extensive strikes throughout the Gaza Strip."
"The IDF will not tolerate continued fire on the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip," the statement read, adding that the Israeli army would "respond determinately to any terror activity from the Gaza Strip and will not accept any attempt to harm Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers."
"We suggest that Hamas refrain from escalating the entire region and from testing the IDF's strength," the army statement said.
Earlier Monday, an IDF statement confirmed that an Israel Air Force fighter jet struck a Gaza tunnel running along the border with Israel, as well as Hamas militants in the northern Gaza strip on Monday.
The IDF spokesperson's office released a statement saying that the Gaza tunnel was used to smuggle terrorists into Israeli territory with the intent to execute attacks against Israeli citizens.
On Saturday, IDF soldiers killed two Palestinian terrorists near the Gaza border. Later in the day, a grad rocket fired from Gaza exploded in an open area in the industrial district of Ashkelon. A few people were treated for shock following the explosion, which caused no damage.