The IDF targeted Hamas military positions in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday morning in response to rocket fire that hit Israel.
The rocket fell in an open area at the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council on Monday night, causing no injuries or damage. It was not preceded by a rocket-alert siren, as the system determined that the rocket would fall in an open area.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office announced that in response, the Air Force attacked two Hamas military infrastructure targets in the northern and southern Gaza Strip. No one was reported hurt in the strikes.
Ahfad al-Sahaba, a Salafist organisation affiliated with ISIS, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire last night, but “since the terror organisation Hamas is the ruler of the Gaza Strip, it is responsible for any attempt to harm the State of Israel,” the IDF said in a statement following the retaliatory attack.
Hamas, for its part, warned Israel not to continue with its dangerous escalation in the Gaza Strip and said that it must bear the consequences of its policy and actions. It accused Israel of making false claims of rocket fire to justify attacking in Gaza.
Hamas’s statement read: “The Israeli claim of a rocket being fired from Gaza and the ‘release’ of a claim on behalf of ISIS to excuse what happened afterwards—escalation and an attack of resistance positions—are part of a dangerous and transparent Israeli game.”
This is the first rocket launch from Gaza to Israel since mid-March.
In related news, Kan Radio reports that Israel and Hamas held a series of meetings over the last two weeks, reportedly mediated by Egypt, in an effort to return the bodies of Israeli soldiers and civilians being held in Gaza.
The meetings were reportedly expedited after the return of the Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar from Egypt two weeks ago. In the past, Sinwar had refused to negotiate with Israel as long as Israel did not release the Hamas operatives who had been released in a previous prisoner deal and then re-arrested after the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers three years ago.
Israeli officials have refused to respond to the report.