Unusual Israeli Statement and Palestinian Silence Suggest Target of Gaza Strike Was Attack Tunnel

The army said it will operate 'below and above ground' to thwart attacks after three rockets were fired at Israeli communities

A member of Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas walks while searching for missing or dead militants after Israel blew up a cross-border tunnel, in Khan Younis November 3, 2017.
IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS

The Israeli military said early Thursday that it had struck "central terrorist infrastructure" in the Gaza Strip after three rockets were fired at Israeli border communities a day earlier.

The statement added that the military will "continue to employ all measures available to it below and above ground to thwart attempted attacks on Israeli citizens."

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The unusual wording of the statement implies that the target of the attack was an attack tunnel. The assessment is reinforced by the fact that the Palestinians have not yet revealed the target of the Israeli strike.

"We are prepared and ready for a variety of scenarios, and we will work to face every attempt to breach Israeli sovereignty," the military statement said.

On Wednesday, three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli communities near the border. All the rockets exploded in open areas, causing no injuries or damage, the army said. In the first two cases, sirens did not sound, while a siren sounded for the third one.

The army also said on Wednesday morning that Islamic Jihad was behind a rocket attack on Friday, in which militants in Gaza fired a rocket toward Israel that disrupted a ceremony for a fallen IDF soldier.

The Israel Air Force hit a Hamas military compound in the Strip early Tuesday morning. The rocket was in retaliation to an earlier rocket fired from Gaza, which struck an open area in southern Israel on Monday. There were no casualties or damage in the incident.