Israeli Jets Strike Hamas Post in Gaza After Gunfire: Statement
The Israeli army said it launched strikes Tuesday on a position belonging to the Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip, after gunfire from the Palestinian enclave.
“Following the firing of a bullet from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the IDF (military) is currently striking a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip,” the army said in a statement.
It added on Twitter that “fighter jets” were carrying out the strikes.
“Earlier today (Tuesday), a bullet was found in the community of Netiv Haasara,” the army statement said, referring to an Israeli agricultural community adjacent to Gaza’s northern border.
“After an inquiry, it was found that the bullet hit an industrial building earlier today after being fired from the Gaza Strip,” the army added.
A witness in Gaza’s Beit Hanoun area told AFP they saw multiple strikes on a security site controlled by Hamas, the militant group which rules the enclave.
The latest strikes come after Israeli warplanes targeted a Hamas site in the Gaza Strip over the weekend in response to rocket fire from the enclave, the military said.
That exchange of fire came hours after US President Joe Biden had visited Israel and the occupied West Bank.
“The military site consists of an underground complex containing raw materials used for the manufacturing of rockets,” the Israeli army said on Saturday.
The weekend strike “will significantly impede and undermine Hamas’ force-building capabilities”, it said, adding that Israel was responding to “attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israeli territory.”
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem condemned Saturday’s strikes, which the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said caused no injuries.
WAFA said Israeli missiles were fired at two locations, one “near a tourist resort,” where nearby houses were severely damaged.
There had been two separate launches towards Israel on Friday night, each of two rockets, the military said.
In further retaliation, Israel announced late Saturday it was suspending a decision to increase the number of permits granted for Gazans to work in the Jewish state.
The quota was raised before Biden’s visit by 1,500 permits, allowing 15,500 Gazan workers into Israel.
Impoverished Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, has been under Israeli blockade since 2007 when Iran-backed Hamas seized power from the secular Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday that Israel will respond “quickly, forcefully and without hesitation” to any fire from Gaza.