Israeli jets strike Gaza seaport, Hamas tunnel

Army says early morning sorties are response to cross-border raid in which Palestinians sneaked across fence and set sniper post on fire

Israeli planes bombed several sites throughout the Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning, including a seaport west of Gaza City and a tunnel used by Hamas, the IDF said.

The military said the strikes were carried out in response to an incident earlier in the day in which Gazans sneaked across the border and destroyed an Israeli sniper’s nest.

“A few minutes ago, our warplanes struck underground terror infrastructure used by Hamas in the north of the Gaza Strip and two targets belonging to Hamas’s naval forces,” the army said in a statement at 4:30 a.m.

Palestinians had reported on explosions at Hamas sites in the central and northern Strip.

A news site affiliated with Hamas said six missiles hit a facility belonging to the terror group in Jabaliya in the northern Strip.

Palestinians also said Gaza’s small seaport was targeted, with at least two fishing boats destroyed and parts of the facility on fire.

Palestinian fishing boats are seen at the sea port in Gaza City on April 1, 2016. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)

Sources claimed three missiles targeted the site, two from the east and one from off the coast.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

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Posted by ‎شهاب‎ on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The raid came hours after an Israeli tank fired on a Hamas observation post in response to a cross-border raid in which Gazans cut through the fence and set an IDF tent used by snipers on fire.

Video from the Tuesday incident aired by al-Jazeera and apparently filmed by one of the infiltrators with a body cam showed approximately 10 people taking part in the raid before sneaking back undetected.

With few exceptions, Israel holds the Hamas terrorist group, which rules Gaza, responsible for all violence that emanates from the coastal enclave, regardless of who carries it out.

Tensions along the Gaza border have been high since March 30, which marked the start of a series of violent protests along the security fence, known collectively as the “March of Return.”

They reached their peak last Monday, when over 40,000 Palestinians took part in an “unprecedentedly” violent riot along the border, according to the army.

housands of demonstrators burned tires, threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli troops across the fence and, in a few cases, engaged in armed battles with the IDF.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, at least 60 people were killed on Monday and hundreds were wounded by live fire. Hamas later acknowledged 50 of the dead were its members.

Though the past weekend was the quietest since the weekly riots began eight weeks ago, the military has remained on high alert in the area out of concern the situation.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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