Israel fighter jets on Wednesday struck about 25 targets linked to the Hamas Islamist movement in Gaza, after the Palestine faction allegedly fired dozens of rockets and mortars into southern Israel, the Israeli army said.
The Israeli Air Force said in a statement that Hamas fired “over 45 rockets towards southern Israeli communities,” with the aim at targeting “Israeli civilians.” However, no casualties were reported from the Israeli side, but two Hamas security men were reportedly slightly wounded in one of the Israeli airstrikes.
Meanwhile, the Palestine news agency Ma’an reported that Hamas responded to the Israeli Wednesday airstrikes by firing several more rockets into southern Israel, citing that three Palestinians were slightly injured. However, Hamas did not claim responsibility for rockets launched from Gaza.
Last Monday, Israel’s military said it launched four airstrikes on nine targets belonging to Hamas, which targeted vehicles and infrastructure in northern Gaza, following the latter firing kites with burning rags attached to them and balloons into southern Israel.
Israel, Hamas, and pro-Iran Islamic Jihad militants exchanged fire last May in the heaviest flare-up since the 2014 Gaza war, after Gaza’s militant factions fired more than 50 rockets and mortars into southern Israel.
Tensions further escalated after the Israeli troops killed, since the end of March, more than 127 Palestinians, injuring more than 4,000, including children and women in latest mass demonstrations in Gaza.
Thousands of Palestinians have taken part in mass demonstrations demanding the right of return, lifting the blockade imposed by Israel after Hamas seized power of Gaza in 2007, and protesting the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the holy city they consider the capital of their future independent state.