IDF strikes Hamas post after gunfire from Gaza hits southern town

In relatively rare daytime strike, air force pounds Beit Hanoun in response to bullet from Hamas-run enclave that hit locksmith’s workshop

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Illustrative: View of the barrier along the Israel-Gaza border, on December 8, 2021. (Flash90)
Illustrative: View of the barrier along the Israel-Gaza border, on December 8, 2021. (Flash90)

Responding to gunfire from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces struck a Hamas observation post near the Palestinian city of Beit Hanoun, the military said.

The airstrike came after a bullet hit a locksmith’s workshop in the southern town of Netiv Ha’asara earlier in the day.

Nobody was hurt in the incident.

It was not immediately clear if the shot was errant fire or intentional.

Regardless, the IDF launched airstrikes in response.

Last month a similar incident occurred, apparently as Hamas security forces clashed with Palestinians close to the northern Gaza border. The military assessed that shot was errant fire, and did not respond.

A bullet fired from the Gaza Strip after it hit an industrial structure in Netiv Ha’asara, July 19, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces).

Tuesday’s incident came after four rockets were fired at southern Israel from Gaza on Saturday, causing no damage, but drawing an Israeli airstrike in response.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday that Israel will respond “swiftly and forcefully” to any attacks from the Strip.

“This government’s policy has not changed. To any fire, any incendiary balloon — we will respond swiftly and forcefully, and without hesitation,” Lapid said, lauding the IDF for its response to the rocket fire.

According to the IDF, its airstrike on Saturday significantly set back Hamas’s weapon production capabilities.

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