Israel - Israeli Military Hits Targets in Gaza after Day of Rockets
Israel - After a day of ceasefire breaches which saw at least 15 rockets land in Israeli territory, IAF planes struck at multiple targets in Khan Yunis and Rafah late Sunday evening, Channel 10 reported.
Palestinians reported huge explosions as Israeli jets dropped bombs on the Gaza-Egypt border area, where Hamas operates tunnels to smuggle in weapons, food and other goods. No casualties were reported. The military had no immediate comment.
Before the attack, Israeli aircraft flew over the area near the border town of Rafah, setting off sonic booms, and witnesses said hundreds of people who work in the tunnels there fled, along with residents.
Residents said tunnel workers were waiting in Rafah streets for the attacks to end so they could get back to their positions.
Prior to the airstrikes, Channel 10 had reported that the IDF had sent messages by phone to the Palestinians in Khan Yunis and Rafah telling them that they should evacuate their houses “immediately.”
The IAF strikes come just hours after two soldiers and a civilian were lightly wounded by shrapnel from mortar shells which were fired from the Gaza Strip into the Sha’ar Hanegev region of the western Negev.
At least 15 Kassam rockets and mortar shells struck Israel on Sunday. One rocket landed between two kindergartens in the Eshkol region, one struck Sderot, two others hit open areas nearby and a fourth hit the Sdot Negev region.
Nobody else was wounded in the attacks, and no damage was reported.
The latest ceasefire violations were joined by direct attacks on IDF soldiers. In the morning, an IDF patrol on the Gaza border near the Kissufim crossing came under fire.
Troops returned fire into Gaza, and no casualties or damage were reported in the attack.
Fatah’s military wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, took responsibility for one of the rocket attacks. The other attacks were not claimed.
Following the attack, Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer called for an immediate IDF response. “We need to respond severely and immediately… Hamas must pay for this,” he told Army Radio, adding that no one should give the excuse that a smaller faction was responsible for the attack.
Eight rockets have been fired at southern Israel since both Israel and Hamas declared cease-fires some two weeks ago at the end of Operation Cast Lead.
On Saturday, a Grad rocket fired from northern Gaza hit an open area near a kibbutz in the Ashkelon area. On Thursday, a rocket was fired at the Sha’ar Hanegev region and on Wednesday, one landed in the Eshkol region. There were no reports of casualties or damage in any of the attacks.
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