After rocket fire, Israeli aircraft bomb Hamas targets in Gaza Strip

IDF fires Iron Dome interceptor, but does not hit target; projectile falls in open area of southern Israel; residents rush to bomb shelters after alarms sound

Israeli aircraft bombed several targets in the Gaza Strip early Thursday, the army said, after a single rocket was fired into Israel, ending a week-long stretch of relative calm in the Gaza Strip.

The military said Israeli Air Froce fighter jets struck Hamas targets throughout the coastal enclave. There were no immediate reports of Palestinian casualties.

The Israel Defense Forces said it bombed a Hamas military base in northern Gaza and a training base and a weapons production facility in the southern Strip.

No terror group in the Gaza Strip claimed responsibility for the late-night rocket attack at Eshkol.

However, Israel says it holds Hamas accountable regardless of which organization is behind the attack, as the Islamist terror group rules the coastal enclave.

“The Hamas terror group is responsible for everything that is done in the Gaza Strip and everything that comes out of it. And it will bear the repercussions for the terrorist activities conducted against Israeli citizens,” the army said Thursday.

Late Wednesday, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired a single missile into Israel from the Gaza Strip, the army said, with the projectile falling in an open field. An Iron Dome interceptor was launched but did not hit the rocket.

The IDF said Thursday that the Iron Dome interceptor had not missed, but had rather not intercepted the Gaza rocket because it was heading for open ground.

The rocket fire sent thousands of residents rushing to bomb shelters.

The IDF said it had identified a launch from the Strip toward Israel and “an interceptor was fired at it.”

Residents of the area reported hearing the sounds of explosions following the sirens.

The alarms ended a relative calm that has persisted in the Gaza Strip region following a flareup between the Hamas terrorist group and Israel last Wednesday, which was sparked by a rocket launched from the coastal enclave that struck a home in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

That rocket caused significant damage to the house, but no injuries as the mother inside rushed her three sons into their bomb shelter. A second rocket launched from the Gaza at the same time landed off the coast of the greater Tel Aviv area.

In response, the Israeli military launched a series of air raids against some 20 targets in the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad publicly condemned the rocket launches, leading to the suspicion that the projectiles had been fired accidentally.

Egypt and the United Nations brokered a de facto cease fire between Israel and Hamas. Though low-level clashes have persisted, the past week saw a significant decrease in the level of violence along the border.

As a result of the relative calm, Israel on Sunday reopened Gaza’s goods and pedestrian crossings, which had been closed following the rocket launches, and on Wednesday a shipment of Qatari-funded fuel was allowed into the coastal enclave.

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