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IDF strikes Hamas targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire

Israeli aircraft hit rocket manufacturing facility, underground infrastructure belonging to terror group after 2 projectiles fired across border

Smoke and flames are seen following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, which came after terrorists in the Strip fired rockets into Israel, December 26, 2020. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Smoke and flames are seen following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, which came after terrorists in the Strip fired rockets into Israel, December 26, 2020. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Israel attacked the Hamas terror group in Gaza early Saturday morning in response to rockets fired from the Strip into Israel on Friday evening.

Israel Defense Forces aircraft attacked Hamas targets including a rocket manufacturing site, underground infrastructure and a military outpost, the IDF said in a statement.

“The attack was carried out in response to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory this evening,” the statement said. “The Hamas terror organization is responsible for all acts in and emanating from the Gaza Strip, and it will bear the consequences of terrorist acts against Israeli civilians.”

The Hamas-affiliated Shehab news agency said the strikes were in the central part of the Strip.

Earlier, two rockets fired from Gaza were shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The Israeli military confirmed that the projectiles fired into Israel were intercepted by soldiers operating the air defense system.

Sirens warning of the incoming rockets blared in several southern Israeli communities near Gaza, sending residents into shelters. The Red Alert sirens sounded in Ashkelon, Zikim, Netiv Ha’asara and nearby towns in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.

Smoke and flames are seen following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, which came after terrorists in the Strip fired rockets into Israel, December 26, 2020. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Last month, two rockets fired from Gaza struck open areas along the coast — one near the city of Ashdod and the other on Palmachim Beach, south of Tel Aviv — causing no significant damage or injuries.

Soldiers operating the Iron Dome air defense system attempted to shoot down the rocket fired toward Palmachim Beach, firing at least two interceptor missiles at the projectile, but did not bring it down. Fragments of an interceptor missile landed in the nearby city of Bat Yam, causing minor damage.

The rocket fire last month came days after the one-year anniversary of the killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata.

Israel has fought three large campaigns against terror groups in the Strip since Hamas took control of the area in 2007, along with dozens of smaller exchanges of fire.

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