Israeli Warplanes Strike Hamas Targets in Gaza After Rocket Fire

Two Hamas positions targeted, IDF says, after rocket explodes in southern Israeli community ■ Palestinian official: No casualties caused

Gili Cohen
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The Israel Air Force struck in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday morning after a rocket launched from Gaza exploded in Israeli territory the previous evening.

Israeli warplanes targeted two Hamas positions, the Israeli army said in a statement. No injuries were reported and rescue teams were dispatched to the targeted places, said Ashraf al-Qedra, a Gaza Health Ministry spokesman.

According to the IDF, the Islamic Jihad organization is responsible for the rocket fire. The incident is relatively unusual, considering the rocket's range. No damage or casualties were caused by the rocket, which struck at the Isareli community of Sha'ar Hanegev.

Israel's border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip has been mostly quiet over recent months. Last March, a rocket fired from Gaza struck an open area in Israeli territory, causing no injuries. Israel responded with aircraft and artillery fire, targeting Hamas positions in northern Gaza.

The Israeli army's policy is to respond "disproportionately" to rocket fire toward Israel's border from Gaza, the IDF chief of staff told a parliamentary panel at the time.

"The IDF employs a policy of using aggressive, and disproportionate, force in order to prevent situations in which they fire rockets at us and we return shells," Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot  told the State Control Committee. "For us, there is one address in the Strip: Hamas."

The chief of staff elaborated that Israel does not "attack sand dunes or empty storehouses. Every rocket or shell we fired was toward a target of value. [Such as] manufacturing means," Eisenkot said. "Hundreds of targets have been attacked since Operation Protective Edge," he added, referring to the Israeli campaign against Gaza in the summer of 2014.