Israel strikes Hamas site after Gaza rocket attack

Air force targets weapons facility after projectile explodes in Eshkol region; no casualties reported on either side

Israeli Air Force Apache helicopters, file (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Israeli Air Force Apache helicopters, file (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Israeli military carried out an airstrike in the central Gaza Strip Wednesday night, in response to a Palestinian rocket attack earlier.

The army said it struck a Hamas weapons production facility in the center of the territory, stating that it considered Hamas to be solely responsible for the happenings in the Gaza Strip.

There were no immediate reports of casualties on the Palestinian side.

The military noted that eight rockets had been fired from Gaza since the beginning of the month. Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the army would “not tolerate any attempt to undermine the security of Southern Israel. The Hamas terror organization is responsible for today’s attack against Israel.”

It was not clear who was responsible for the rocket attack. It was unlikely that it was orchestrated by Hamas, which has refrained from firing at Israel since the conclusion of 2014’s summer war. Sporadic rocket fire over recent months has largely been the work of small Salafi groups chafing under Hamas rule.

However, Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire from the Strip.

The Gaza rocket exploded in an open field in Israel. There were no casualites in the attack and no damage was reported.

The rocket landed in the Eshkol Regional Council of the Western Negev. Local residents said no warning sirens had sounded prior to the explosion.

Security officials said the projectile had fallen near the border fence, possibly explaining the lack of sirens.

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