IAF strikes Gaza after rocket hits home in southern Israel

Direct hits confirmed on several Hamas positions including ‘terror infrastructure site, concealed rocket launcher’

An F-15I fighter jets flies over the air force's Hatzerim base. (Ofer Zidon/Flash90)
An F-15I fighter jets flies over the air force's Hatzerim base. (Ofer Zidon/Flash90)

The Israeli Air Force launched a series of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday-Thursday, hitting several Hamas positions in the Palestinian enclave.

An “IAF aircraft targeted a terror activity site, a terror infrastructure site and a concealed rocket launcher in the northern Gaza Strip and two terror activity sites in the central Gaza Strip,” the IDF said in a statement.

Three people were injured in the incident, according to Palestinian medical sources.

Direct hits were confirmed in the strikes which came in response to a rocket attack earlier Wednesday that struck a home in a kibbutz in the Sha’ar HaNegev region outside Gaza.

The projectile caused some damage, but no injuries were reported.

A second projectile also launched out of Gaza landed in an open area in the same region.

The attack is the most recent of a spate of fire directed at Israeli citizens, many of which drew Israeli retaliatory strikes from the air.

It also comes as tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have ramped up in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens and the ensuing crackdown on the terror group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, as is thought responsible for the abduction.

Overnight Monday, Israeli aircraft struck four “terror activity” sites in the Gaza Strip, following rocket fire into Israel in the evening hours, the IDF spokesperson’s office said in a statement.

The IDF reported direct hits including on “a weapon manufacturing facility in the northern Gaza Strip and two weapon storage facilities in the central and southern Gaza Strip.”

The attack came after a rocket landed in an open field near Ashkelon Monday evening.

On Sunday, Israeli forces positioned an Iron Dome anti-missile battery outside the southern coastal city of Ashdod, in response to an escalation in rocket fire from Gaza over the weekend.

The move came hours after Israeli planes pounded several sites in the Gaza Strip Sunday, in retaliation for rockets fired earlier in the day.

Last Saturday, rockets were fired toward Ashkelon, all of which landed in open fields and did not cause any injuries or damage, and a rocket fired from Gaza damaged a road in the Eshkol region earlier in the month.

AFP contributed to this report

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