Israel struck Hamas targets in Gaza on Friday, killing four Palestinians during a series of airstrikes. This attack comes as retaliation after officials said gunmen shot at Israeli soldiers near the border.
The severe response is in retaliation to the first Israeli military deaths due to violence in months. The Israeli military said a “terrorist squad” fired at their troops, and one soldier was severely injured and later died of his wounds.
According to the Associated Press, military spokesmen Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the sniper fire triggered the heavy response. The Israeli Defense Force continues to Tweet updates of the battle but credits the beginning of today’s attacks to the Hamas, a group sworn to Israeli destruction.
“The Hamas chose to escalate the security situation and will bear the consequences for its actions.”
Israel’s military said they targeted eight military posts belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza strip following the shooting. Later, Israel said the Israeli Air Force fighter jets are currently striking military targets throughout the Gaza strip.
“So far, the Israeli Defense Force has struck 15 military targets located in a Hamas battalion headquarter in the Gaza Strip,” the military announced on Twitter. “The Israeli Defense Force significantly damaged the headquarter’s capabilities.”
The air strikes continue to hit Hamas military targets throughout the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said three Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes, and another was killed by sniper fire at the border fence. 20 protesters were wounded as well, according to NBC.
As Israeli troops continue to operate and protect civilians, sirens wailed Friday evening in parts of southern Israel to warn citizens of incoming Palestinian rockets, after three launches were detected from the Gaza Strip at Israel. Two of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with military brass Friday night to assess the developments and progression, according to media reports.
The continued air strikes raise fear of a greater conflict and even a full war. The United Nations Tweeted Friday urging both Israel and Hamas to “step back” from the beginning of war.
Weekly fights at the Israel-Gaza border have continued to raise tension. Israel says it has no interest in engaging in another war with Hamas, but will no longer stand for the daily attacks that have killed wildlife, torched Israeli crops and burned nature reserves. Israel has said it is defending its sovereign border, and will continue to do so.