Israel Responds to Rocket Fire With Gaza Airstrike

Air force attacks seven targets; earlier, three rocket were fired at southern Israel, two were intercepted by an Iron Dome battery.

Smoke billowing from sites targeted by Israel Air Force - AFP - November 16, 2012.
A picture taken from the southern Israeli Gaza border shows smoke billowing from sites targeted by Israel Air Force strike in the Gaza Strip, November 16, 2012. AFP

Air force jets late on Tuesday struck targets in the Gaza Strip following missile fire on southern Israel.

Israeli aircrafts struck five underground rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip, a weapons manufacturing site at the center of the Strip and what the IDF Spokesperson's Unit referred to as a "center of terrorist activity" in Gaza's south,  a statement said. It added that direct hits were identified.

Palestinian sources said that two police officers were wounded in the attack.

Earlier, two rockets were launched from Gaza at Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. Two were intercepted by an Iron Dome anti-rocket defense battery. A third rocket fell at Sdot Negev Regional Council, damaging a building.

According to reports, medics in Gaza said a Palestinian child was killed when another errant rocket was fired from Gaza and was apparently fell short due to a malfunction and instead hit the family's home in Beit Lahia in north Gaza. Two other Palestinian children were reportedly wounded in the incident.

Following the barrage, the Israel Defense Forces said that it will "not tolerate attempts to harm Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers, and will act against anyone who operates terror against Israel."

The IDF has responded to every incident of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip since the beginning of Operation Brother's Keeper in the West Bank 12 days ago. More than 20 targets in Gaza were bombed by the Air force.

Security forces estimate that the Islamic Jihad, and not Hamas, is responsible for some of the launches in the past week and a half, while others were probably carried out by organizations that do not accept Hamas' rule in the Strip.

DPA contributed to this report.