Gaza under attack: The Air Force launched a wave of assaults in Gaza early Friday according to Palestinian sources, targeting numerous sites within the Strip in the wake of a terror offensive in southern Israel that left eight people dead Thursday.
Earlier, Israeli aircraft killed the terror masterminds behind the multipronged offensive that targeted a bus, civilian cars and IDF soldiers near Eilat.
Escalation in south:
- Southern Israel hit by rocket fire
- Death toll from attacks climbs to 8
- Survivor: 'I was too scared to move'
- Multiple terror attacks rock south; 7 killed
According to Palestinian reports early Friday, the Air force struck a home in Gaza City located near the former Palestinian intelligence headquarters. The attack reportedly caused a large fire in the area, leaving one boy dead and wounding up to 17 people.
Elsewhere, Israeli aircraft reportedly fired three missiles at a Hamas security forces building in Gaza City. In a third strike, at least one missile was fired at an open area in a town located in the southern part of the Strip. No casualties were reported in the strike.
According to the reports pouring in from Gaza, the Air Force also struck several targets in the northern Strip, including a Hamas military wing building.
Palestinian sources added that the Air Force bombed yet another outpost belonging to Hamas’ military wing in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis. Eyewitnesses reported loud explosions at the site of the attack,
Later at night, the Palestinians said that the Air Force struck several more targets around the Philadelphi route. The army was believed to have targeted smuggling tunnels in the strike.
The explosions in Gaza were clearly heard in southern Israel communities as well, with many local residents reporting the blasts to Ynet via the Red Email. Southern resident Shani wrote: “I just heard three explosions reminiscent of what we hear when mortar shells land here…I don’t know what’s going on.”
Palestinians warn Israel
Senior Fatah official Saeb Erekat warned Israel Thursday night against ‘irresponsible’ retaliation in the Gaza Strip in the wake of the terror offensive in southern Israel earlier in the day.
“We are warning Israel not to launch an offensive or impose collective punishment against the civilian population,” the senior Palestinian official said.
Erekat added that the Palestinian Authority objects to any kind of violence, which he said does not serve the Palestinian interest or the Palestinian people’s aspiration for freedom and independence.
The top PA official also stressed that the Palestinians will not accept an Israeli attempt to use the terror offensive in the south in order to undertake belligerent acts against the Gaza Strip.
Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that "Israel will exact a heavy price from terror chiefs” in the wake of the terror offensive.
"I have decided on a principle – when you hurt Israeli citizens we respond immediately and with force. This principle was implemented today,” he said in a televised address. “The people who gave the orders to murder our citizens and then hid in Gaza are no longer among us."
Netanyahu commended the IDF and Shin Bet for a Gaza strike carried out earlier, which killed six people in Rafah, among them two top leaders of the Popular Resistance Committees.
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