Israeli planes hit Gaza hours after rocket strikes

Bombing runs target ‘terror sites’ in southern and central Strip; no immediate reports of injuries

An explosion is seen following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip in 2012 (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
An explosion is seen following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip in 2012 (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Loud explosions echoed across Gaza early Sunday morning, as Israeli planes bombed sites in the Palestinian enclave, hours after at least two rockets were shot at Israel.

Bombings were reported in areas around Khan Yunis and Rafah, in the southern end of the strip, starting at about 3:30 a.m, according to Palestinian sources. There was no immediate word on casualties or damage.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that it had targeted three “terror sites” in the southern strip and one in the center.

It said direct strikes had been confirmed.

Palestinians reported that sites belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad had been targeted.

The air strikes came a day after Gazan terrorists fired several rockets at Israel, all which landed in open areas or failed to clear that Palestinian enclave.

The last 10 days have seen an uptick in tit-for-tat Gazan rocket fire and Israeli strikes as tensions have ramped up in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens in the West Bank, followed by a massive Israeli operation to recover them and destroy the Islamist Hamas movement.

On Thursday evening two rockets were fired into Israel, prompting the Israeli Air Force to strike five targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, aying it attacked three concealed rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip, a terror activity site in the central Gaza Strip and a weapons storage facility in the southern Gaza Strip.

The IDF regularly retaliates with air strikes in response to rocket attacks.

“We have repeatedly addressed the consequences facing those who seek to endanger the lives of innocent civilians,” IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement regarding Thursday’s strikes. “We shall persist with our determination to combat terror elements and eliminate the pending threat to Israeli lives.”

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