Air force strikes two terror targets in Gaza

Military says it was responding to recent rocket attacks

The southern Israeli city of Sderot (Moshe Shai/Flash90/File)
The southern Israeli city of Sderot (Moshe Shai/Flash90/File)

The Israel Air Force struck two terror targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Friday. Direct hits were confirmed. The military was responding to rocket fire on southern Israel from the strip.

Gaza medical sources reported two Palestinian civilians were injured in one of the strikes.

The Israel Defense Forces stated it will continue to operate against “those who use terror against the State of Israel” and declared Hamas “solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip,” according to a media statement.

On Friday, a Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel hit a house in the southern city of Sderot, causing major damage to its roof. An adjacent house was also damaged, and one woman was treated for shock. A second rocket, fired simultaneously, landed in an open area and caused no damage or injuries.

Red Alert sirens sounded throughout the area ahead of the explosion.

The first Kassam went through the roof of the Afflelu family’s home and penetrated through to the first floor apartment in the building next door. The second building had suffered a direct hit from a rocket in 2007, and had been rebuilt with a safety room, which was used Friday by the Timsit family.

The Afflelus had also entered their safety room just ahead of the blast, and members of both families survived the attack uninjured.

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Earlier on Friday, two rockets landed in open areas in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, just north of Sderot.

Friday’s attacks were the most recent in a week of Gaza rockets fired on Israel as children returned to school following summer vacation.

Three more bombs were fired from the Strip at southern Israel on Monday, causing no injuries or damage. Another two rockets and a mortar shell were fired into the Eshkol region, in the Western Negev, on Tuesday evening, all landing in open areas.

On Sunday, three Kassam rockets were fired at Sderot, two of them hitting factories in the city’s industrial zone. The blasts injured two people and structural damage was caused to one factory.

In an unusual step, Hamas fingered a Salafi group operating in Gaza for Sunday morning’s rocket attacks.

Known as Jamiat ul-Mujahedin Bayt al-Maqdis, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Salafi group claimed responsibility for the three rockets. It also reportedly criticized Hamas for clamping down on Islamic extremists in Gaza, in the wake of the August 5 Egyptian-Israeli border attack that left 16 Egyptian soldiers dead.

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