IDF hits again: Air Force aircraft struck several targets in the Gaza Strip early Monday, despite an earlier Hamas announcement it was halting its Gaza-based attacks on Israeli communities, including Qassam rocket attacks.
The army said it will continue operation "First Rain" and targeted weapons warehouses in Gaza and an access road used by Qassam launchers. No injuries were reported in the latest strikes.
The Air Force fired at four structures in Gaza City and Khan Younis. The army said the structures were used as Hamas and Popular front weapons warehouses. Earlier, the Air Force hit a Hamas weapons warehouse in Rafah.
The army also fired on an access road near Khan Younis in a bid to hamper Qassam attacks. Official Palestinian sources said a missile landed near Gaza City's industrial zone, but no injuries or damage were reported.
Overnight, troops operating in the West Bank detained 50 Hamas and Islamic Jihad members in the West Bank. The soldiers came under fire in a village northwest of Jenin, but no injuries or damages were reported.
Hamas: No more rockets
Hamas has decided to stop all Gaza-based attacks on Israeli targets, including Qassam rocket attacks, group leader Mahmoud al-Zahar announced Sunday evening.
“We call on our military arms to stop their operations from the Gaza Strip against the enemy,” al-Zahar said, and added the group made the decision in order to “protect the Palestinian people from Israeli aggression.”
He added that the decision was taken so that the Palestinian joy over Israel’s Gaza withdrawal would not be undermined. Al-Zahar also said Hamas was still committed to intra-Palestinian truce understandings.
However, IDF officers were unimpressed with the announcement and said it will be tested by events.
“This is a statement of a person with a record of a terrorist,” one source said. “If the announcement is serious, it will be tested by the reality on the ground.”
Islamic Jihad vows revenge
Meanwhile, the army stressed operation “First Rain” will continue in a bid to foil attacks and Qassam strikes.
Al-Zahar also noted Hamas was committed to ending military parades. Palestinian sources said the decision followed intensive contacts between the movement and an Egyptian security delegation that in the past two days invested great efforts in preventing further escalation in the Strip.
However, while the Hamas promised to end its attack, the Islamic Jihad vowed to avenge the killing of Sheikh Mohammed Khalil, assassinated by Israel Sunday evening.
"The retaliation will take place deep inside the Zionist enemy's territory," an Islamic Jihad source said.
Ali Waked contributed to the story