Posted in: Middle East

Israel Responds To Gaza Rocket Fire With Airstrike

Israel Launched Airstrikes Gaza Retaliation

Israel responded to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on Sunday with airstrikes that targeted sites used by Islamic militant group Hamas, which currently rules the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli military announced the airstrike on Sunday explaining that its jets struck “a terrorist weapon storage facility and a Hamas training installation.”

The airstrike was in response to rocket fire from Gaza, which landed in southern Israel on Saturday night. The military also closed a key border crossing with the territory. Gaza health officials assured that no one was hurt in the airstrikes.

While it is still ongoing, rocket fire from Gaza has declined significantly since November when Israel launched a military campaign to halt the attacks. Before then, rockets were being fired from Gaza on an almost daily bases. There were also attacks launched on Israeli villages.

While the attacks have calmed in the months since, they do still happen occasionally. In response to Sunday’s airstrike, Israel’s military said that it “will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians” and that it would not allow the situation to return to the same level it was at before the campaign.

Israel holds the Hamas government responsible for all rocket fire from Gaza to the country. After the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the perpetrators will “pay a heavy price.” So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the latest rocket fire attack on Israel.

It is possible that the attack on Saturday night was by Salafist Muslims, who has been behind recent attacks in the area, including one where rockets were fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last month. Hamas considers the shadowy extremist Salafists a threat to its rule. The government routinely arrests members of the group in Gaza.

Along with the airstrikes on Sunday morning, Israel responded to the rockets fired from Gaza by closing the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza. The government added that another terminal will be open for humanitarian cases.

[Image via Israel Defense Forces]

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