Islamic Jihad Warns It Will 'Hit Israel's Biggest Cities' After Airstrikes Hit Gaza

Hamas also condemned airstrikes that followed the launch of incendiary balloons from the Strip earlier

File Photo: An explosion caused by Israeli airstrikes is seen in Gaza City, March 25, 2019.
Adel Hana / AP

Hamas issued a statement on Thursday condemning the airstrikes conducted by the Israeli army against targets belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip following the launch of incendiary balloons from the enclave the day before.

"[The Israeli] Air Force strikes against our facilities constitute a continuation of the aggression against the Palestinian people and an attempt to divert [public] attention from the failure to implement the understandings [reached between Hamas and Israel], " Hamas said in a statement.

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Islamic Jihad's Secretary General Ziyad al-Nakhalah added: "We will respond with might to any attempt to harm our people. We'll hit [Israel's] biggest cities, without having any red lines."  

In addition, two rockets were fired at southern Israel early Thursday, the army said.

Alarms sounded in Israeli communities along the Gaza border, including Sha'ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev Regional Councils, before the rocket fire, but there were no reports of damage and no one was hurt.

Palestinian media reported that a Hamas training facility in Gaza was target by the Israeli air force. It was heavily damaged, reports say, but no casualties were reported.

The development came after Israel minimized on Tuesday the fishing zone for Gazans from 15 nautical miles down to six, after a rocket fired overnight Monday landed in Israeli waters. 

The Israeli army said the rocket launched by Islamic Jihad on Monday was aimed at hitting one of Israeli communities along the border. It named Islamic Jihad officials directly, publishing their photos, and laid responsibility for the attack on the organization, an unusual move as it normally holds Hamas accountable for aggression coming out of the Strip.

Earlier Wednesday, fire and rescue services were called to put out two fires near Israeli border communities, which authorities say were caused by firebombs from Gaza.