Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza after rocket attack

By: AFP      Published: 02:50 PM, 16 Apr, 2021
Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza after rocket attack
A picture taken in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip shows an explosion following an airstrike by Israel. AFP

The Israeli military said early Friday it had carried out airstrikes on military targets in the Gaza Strip after a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave hit southern Israel.

Fighter jets and attack helicopters struck a "weapons manufacturing site, a weapon smuggling tunnel and a military post" operated by Hamas, the Islamist ruling party in Gaza, the military said in a statement.

"We will not tolerate any threat to Israeli civilians," it added.

A security source in Gaza told AFP there were no casualties from the strikes.

Israelis in the southern city of Sderot took cover late Thursday after a rocket was fired from Gaza.

The rocket hit an open area and caused no casualties or damage, a regional council spokesman said.

Israel imposed a land and sea blockade on Gaza after Hamas seized control in 2007. They have since fought three wars.

A fragile truce has held in recent years despite occasional flareups, with Palestinians firing rockets at Israel and the Jewish state responding with airstrikes on the coastal enclave.

This year, Israel marked a decade since it deployed the Iron Dome air defence system that has intercepted hundreds of rockets from Gaza and Syria.

Gaza's two million residents endure extreme poverty under the Israeli blockade and conditions have worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.

Categories : World, Middle East