The IDF struck Hamas targets in Gaza late on Monday night in response to incendiary devices launched from the Strip into Israeli territory, the army said.
The military said two strikes were carried out, targeting a rocket manufacturing facility and a Hamas military instillation in the Khan Yunis area in the southern Gaza Strip, where a concrete factory was used in the construction of underground terror tunnels.
According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, the factory is located near civilian areas that include mosques, water infrastructure facilities and cultural centers, proving the army's claims the terror group that rules Gaza has embedded its military resources among a civilian population.
In a statement, the military said that any "terror attempt," will be met by a military response.
"The IDF holds the Hamas terror group responsible for all actions taken from inside the Gaza Strip," the IDF said.
On Monday, hundreds of supporters of Islamic Jihad rallied in Gaza, while the militant group sent incendiary balloons across the frontier in support of six Palestinian prisoners who had tunneled out of one of the most secure Israeli prisons overnight.
Three separate fires were ignited on Monday in fields near the border that were attributed to incendiary devices launched from Gaza towards Israel.
The escape from Gilboa Prison was the biggest prison break of its kind in decades. Israel launched a massive manhunt in the country's north and the West Bank. The search continued on Tuesday.
The escape marks an embarrassing security breach just ahead of the Jewish New Year, when Israelis flock to the north to enjoy beaches, campsites and the Sea of Galilee. The prisoners appear to have gone into hiding and there was no indication Israeli authorities view them as an immediate threat.
Palestinians consider prisoners held by Israel to be heroes of their national cause, and many celebrated the escape on social media. Efforts to capture the escapees will likely draw attention to the Palestinian Authority's security coordination with Israel, which is deeply unpopular among Palestinians. There was no immediate comment from the PA, but President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party praised the escape.
On Saturday, Palestinians launched dozens of balloons carrying pictures of Palestinians they said had been victims of Israeli gunfire and those of high-ranking members of the Gaza factions, but with no incendiary devices attached to them.
The balloons also carried with them messages warning Israelis to "prepare for hell," in broken Hebrew.
The IDF last struck Gaza on Sunday one week ago. Those raids came several hours after hundreds of Hamas-backed activists protested along the Israeli border, throwing explosive devices at IDF forces who responded with live fire.
An activist launching balloons said last week, that the purpose of the action was to impress upon Israel that if the siege on Gaza continues, the communities along the border will be targeted by the incendiary devices.
"We will not accept the blackmail by Israel that withholds humanitarian assistance from Gaza," the activist said.
First published: 09:02, 09.07.21