Escalation: Terrorists Again Fire Rockets at Israel, IAF Bombs Hamas Targets
Gaza-based terrorists on Saturday launched rockets, mortars and booby-trapped balloons into Israel, the fourth consecutive day that terrorists in Gaza have attacked Israeli civilians.
Some 13 rockets were fired at Israel since Wednesday, most of them exploding in open spaces and at least four were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
No one was injured in the attacks and no damage was caused.
In response to Saturday’s attacks, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) on Saturday struck a number of Hamas targets in Gaza. The targets included underground infrastructures used by Hamas, including a headquarters post.
Attacking these targets “impairs” Hamas’ ability to build itself up militarily, the IDF claimed.
The IAF bombed Hamas targets on Friday night as well. Earlier in the day, an IDF tank attacked a Hamas military position in southern Gaza in response to mortar shells fired from Gaza toward Israeli territory.
“We hold Hamas responsible and will continue operating against any attempt to harm Israeli civilians,” the IDF stated.
The IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced sanctions on Gaza in response to the escalation, including the halt of imports of cement into the Gaza Strip and the cutting of 500 entry permits for merchants from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
The import of the cement from Israeli into Gaza was halted just a few days after it was renewed for the first time since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
Israel’s south had seen a significant escalation in the attacks from Gaza in the past few weeks with the renewed launch of balloons attached to explosive charges, and the intensification of rocket fire in recent days.
The explosive and flammable balloon attacks have returned to haunt Israel’s residents in the south in the past weeks after several months in which such attacks from Gaza ceased. Over 50 such explosive charges have landed in Israeli territory in the past two weeks. No one was injured in the attacks.