Israel Strikes Gaza After Iron Dome Intercepts Rocket for Second Time This Week

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FIILE PHOTO: Israel's Irone Dome missile defense system intercepts a rocket launched from Gaza
FIILE PHOTO: Israel's Irone Dome missile defense system intercepts a rocket launched from GazaCredit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system on Thursday intercepted a rocket launched from Gaza over the skies of the southern city of Ashkelon, the Israeli army said, after sirens sounded off in communities bordering the Strip.

Footage of the interception over the skies of Ashkelon

The statement from the Israeli army said two rockets were launched from the Strip, and that one was intercepted.

The Israeli air force struck Hamas targets inside the Strip in retaliation, hitting an ammunition factory and underground infrastructure, an army statement said.

Emergency services reported no casualties on either side.

On Tuesday, Israel intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza, a few hours after the military said it had uncovered an offensive tunnel that runs from the Gaza Strip and into Israeli territory which it later said belonged to Hamas.

The Israel Air Force later struck an underground Hamas infrastructure in the southern Gaza Strip.

Although Israel see tunnels coming from Gaza as a major threat, it seems to have brought it under control, with the ongoing construction of a targeted barrier. The one that was found earlier this week seems to have been work in progress, according to the Israeli military spokesperson. 

Gaza-based militant groups and the Israeli military have traded a few blows in the last weeks, but the situation has been relatively calm, with authorities in Israel and the Palestinian coastal enclave focusing on the coronavirus crisis.

This is despite Israel signing normalization deals with the UAE and Bahrain, a major blow to the Palestinians' reliance on the support of Arab countries.

The Israeli government is dealing with the political fallout of an unpopular second nationwide lockdown. Hamas, which is in the middle of a reconciliation exercize with Fatah, needs to secure financial support for Gaza's impoverished population amid a global financial crisis.

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