Israel strikes Hamas military targets in retaliation for rocket attacks
15 July, 2018, 16:01 | Author: Donnie King
The Israeli military struck several militant sites in Gaza early Saturday in response to renewed violence along the border, after which Hamas militants fired more than 30 rockets and mortars toward Israel.
Even as the airstrikes were being carried out, the military said rockets began being fired toward Israel. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
A Palestinian official who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said Egypt and other global players were holding contacts with Israel and Gaza to restore calm.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 11.
A spokesman for Hamas, which controls Gaza, and a statement from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group separately confirmed a truce was reached. He didn't identify the mediators, but local media, quoting unidentified Hamas officials, said senior Egyptian intelligence officers and United Nations special envoy Nicolai Mladenov brokered the accord.
Netanyahu has faced public pressure to take action against the launching of incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza that have burned crops and scrubland in southern Israel.
Three Israelis were injured by a rocket which landed in Sderot.
The Israeli army said air strikes carried out in the morning hit "complexes used to prepare arson terror attacks and a Hamas terror training facility".
'We are not in a (military) operation. "The activity we are engaged in now sends a message that Israel will not tolerate rockets, explosive devices, mortar bombs or (incendiary) kites", Katz said on Israel's Channel 12 TV.
"The action we are taking draws a clear red line: that from now on, we will not allow this", he said.
"The focus of the attack is a wide-scale strike of the Hamas Battalion HQ in Beit Lahia, which includes urban warfare training facilities, weapon storage warehouse, training compounds, command centers, offices and more", the IDF said in a statement.
Amir al-Nimri, 15, and Luay Kaheel, 16, died of their wounds on Saturday shortly after an air strike targeted al-Kateeba, an area in western Gaza, the health ministry said. Nearby houses were damaged.
"We are ready to operate simultaneously in different theaters", Conricus said, referring to the dual threats from Syria and Gaza.
The attacks come amid an escalation of violence in the region in recent months. A police spokesman said no hits had been identified in the city.
The IDF in response struck two Gaza positions where the mortar shells were believed to have been launched from, and the Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted one of two rockets. 'Bombardment for bombardment, ' he said.
Earlier on Friday, an Israeli soldier was injured by a grenade thrown by a terrorists during unrest on the Gaza border.
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