Israel Army Strikes Gaza After Rockets Launched at Southern Communities

Two of the Gaza rockets fired earlier from the enclave were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, and the remaining two fell in an open area

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
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Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City on January 15, 2020.
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City on January 15, 2020.Credit: MAHMUD HAMS / AFP
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

Israeli fighter jets struck Hamas posts in Gaza Wednesday evening after four rockets were launched at Israel from the coastal enclave earlier, the military said.

"Israel Defense Forces' aircraft struck several targets of the Hamas terror organization in northern Gaza, including a site to manufacture weapons and a military compound," the IDF Spokesperson's unit said in a statement.

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 56Credit: Haaretz

"The strike was carried out in response to the rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli territory earlier today. The IDF severally views the rocket fire towards Israel, and will continue working against attempts to hurt Israel's citizens," the statement added.

"The Hamas terror organization is responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza strip and will be held accountable for its actions against Israel's citizens."

Gaza border fence, September, 2019. Credit: Ilan Assayag

In addition, a cluster of balloons attached to an explosive device was found in the southern city of Sderot. Police are looking into the matter.

Additional strikes were later reported west and north of Gaza City.

Earlier on Wednesday, two of the Gaza rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, and the remaining two fell in an open area.

Rocket alerts sounded in southern Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip earlier Wednesday, alerting locals to incoming rockets.

The Israeli army said it was looking into the circumstances.

Benny Gantz, Kahol Lavan leader and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's chief rival, said in a statement that the prime minister "has failed to fulfill his duty and provide Israel's citizens living in the south with security.

"We'll put an end to the rockets and the money he's transferring to Hamas. It's time to make a decision," Gantz said in reference to the Qatari cash infusion Israel is allowing to enter the coastal enclave.

The last time Palestinians fired rockets at Israel was some three weeks ago, when Netanyahu was attending an election campaign event in the southern port city of Ashkelon.

The rocket fire forced Netanyahu to leave the stage mid-speech and seek shelter; he later returned to complete the address. The Iron Dome missile defense system had intercepted one rocket at the time.

In retaliation, the Israel Defense Forces struck in the Strip, hitting Hamas targets in the Strip. Among the targets struck were military compounds used by the group.

Earlier in December, Israeli aircraft bombed several militants’ sites in Gaza, hours after three rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave toward southern Israel.

The military said in a statement the airstrikes targeted military camps and a naval base for Hamas, the Islamic militant group controlling Gaza. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

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