Israel Strikes Two Hamas Targets After Rocket Launched From Gaza

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File photo: A streak of light seen after an Iron Dome interceptor is activated in southern Israel, 2018.
File photo: A streak of light seen after an Iron Dome interceptor is activated in southern Israel, 2018.Credit: Ilan Assayag

Israeli aircraft struck overnight Friday two underground terror infrastructure belonging to Hamas in the northern and central Gaza Strip in response to a rocket that was fired from the enclave earlier, the Israeli army said.

"The Israel Defense Forces will continue acting against all attempts to harm Israel's citizens and view the Hamas terrorist organization as responsible for everything that takes place in Gaza," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in a statement.     

On Friday evening, a rocket fired from Gaza was intercepted and shot down over southern Israel, the military said. 

Sirens sounded in Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council and in the city of Sderot. Residents reported the sounds of explosions. 

Earlier Friday, 38 Palestinians were wounded, 20 by live fire, during protests at the Gaza-Israel border, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

According to Palestinian sources, pressure has been increasing on Hamas in Gaza to escalate protests along the border, as there has been no substantial easing of the blockade on the enclave. A Hamas political source told Haaretz that "the money the Qataris send and the partial salaries Hamas is paying to its employees and the Palestinian Authority to its employees in the Strip are a kind of Band-Aid for a patient who is critically ill."

The same source said factions in Gaza, including Hamas, are aware that it is a sensitive time because of Israel's upcoming election. "On the one hand, Hamas knows Israel does not want a head-on confrontation at this point, and on the other hand, the street in the Strip is waiting for significant relief measures that will bring about an improvement in conditions, and this is occurring slowly, so all options are on the table," the source said.

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