IAF strike in Gaza

Gaza rockets, Israeli airstrikes resume overnight after tense lull

Iron Dome intercepts rocket over Ashkelon, while Israeli Air Force targets military Hamas positions; Palestinian militants resumed rocket fire late Tuesday evening, drawing IDF's retaliation shortly after

The cross-border fighting between Israel and Hamas, which resumed late Tuesday evening, continued into early Wednesday, with Israeli military striking several Hamas military positions in Gaza, while air-raid sirens sounded in southern Israeli communities.



The lull in violence was broken late Tuesday when Gaza militants fired a rocket at the Eshkol Regional Council, drawing retaliatory air strikes from the Israeli Air Force shortly after.


Israeli strike in Gaza early Wednesday
Israeli strike in Gaza early Wednesday


The military wings of Palestinian factions in Gaza said the rocket fire at the Gaza border community was conducted by “rouge elements” in the Strip without their approval or knowledge. There were no reports of casualties or damage.


IAF strikes Hamas positions in Gaza

IAF strikes Hamas positions in Gaza


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The airstrikes targeting Hamas positions - including a military compound and a weapons-manufacturing facility - continued well into the night, with Palestinian militants firing rockets at the southern city of Ashkelon, which were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.  

Israeli military said the aerial attack was carried out in response to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, as well as the launching of airborne incendiary devices and violent demonstrations along the security fence.


IDF forces on Gaza border (Photo: EPA)
IDF forces on Gaza border (Photo: EPA)


"The Hamas terror organization bears responsibility for everything in and around the Gaza Strip," the army said. "The IDF is determined to continue protecting the Israeli citizens and is prepared for a variety of scenarios."


Israel said it reserved the right to strike again and kept its troops and tanks massed at the Gaza frontier.


IAF strikes in Gaza (Photo: MCT)
IAF strikes in Gaza (Photo: MCT)


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who cut short a visit to the United States to deal with the crisis, said Israel may take further action. The military said that after consultations with Netanyahu, it was bolstering its troops in the area and calling up more reserves.


The latest round of violence began early Monday when seven Israelis, including an infant, were wounded when a house in a moshav northeast of Tel Aviv was directly hit by a long-range rocket fired from Gaza by what the IDF said were Hamas operatives.


The Israeli military said it was a self-manufactured rocket with a range of 120 kilometers (75 miles), making it one of the deepest strikes ever carried out by Hamas.


House destroyed by Gaza rocket (Photo: Yair Sagi)
House destroyed by Gaza rocket (Photo: Yair Sagi)


Hamas and the Islamic Jihad militant group, which also took part in the fighting, said late Monday that Egypt had brokered a truce. But, as in past escalations that ended with Egyptian mediation, Israel denied it had agreed to a ceasefire with groups it views as terrorists.


"Netanyahu is trying to portray himself as a hero to his people, therefore he publicly denies the understanding reached with the Egyptians," Islamic Jihad official Khader Habib said. "Resistance factions are committed to calm as long as the enemy abides by it."


Egypt was expected to pursue further truce talks on Wednesday, said a Palestinian official involved in the efforts.


Reuters contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 03.27.19, 08:20
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