IDF Condemns Hamas for Failing to Halt Gaza Rocket Fire

IDF officials issue statement after Chief of Staff Benny Gantz calls meeting to discuss recent increase in shooting from Gaza into south Israel.

Israel Defense Forces officials issued a statement Friday, condemning Hamas for not taking action to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel, shortly after Chief of Staff Benny Gantz called an emergency meeting to discuss the increased violence in southern Israel.

The IDF chief met with GOC Southern Command Tal Russo, Israel Air Force commander Ido Nehushtan and Military Intelligence Chief Brigadier-General Aviv Kochavi, among other top IDF brass. The closed door meeting focused on the increase in attacks from Gaza against Israel in recent days.

Gaza militants rocketing Israel, 2008.

Israel Air Force launched retaliatory strikes early Friday that left at least five Palestinians wounded and one missing in the Gaza Strip, witnesses and officials in the territory said.

The witnesses said that IAF fighter jets struck a smuggling tunnel under the border between southern Gaza and Egypt, where five people were wounded. The Israel Defense Forces spokesman's office said the strikes were in response to response to six homemade missiles fired by militants from Gaza toward towns in southern Israel, marking escalating tension along the Gaza border for the first time in two months.

Rescue teams rushed to the scene and sent three people with moderate wounds and two with minor injuries by ambulance to the nearby Rafah hospital, Gaza emergency chief Adham Abu Selmeyeh said.

Earlier, IAF jets carried out two airstrikes late Thursday against another smuggling tunnel and an empty area inside Gaza.