Tel Aviv: The Israel Defense Forces has confirmed strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza Strip in retaliation to arson balloons attack launched from the region.
“In response to arson balloons launched from Gaza into Israel, we struck military compounds and a rocket launch site belonging to Hamas in Gaza,” the IDF tweeted.
Times of Isreal reported that at least eight fires were sparked in southern Israel yesterday, and four the day before, by balloon-borne incendiary devices launched from the Strip, as per Israeli Fire and Rescue Services.
According to Palestinian media, one Israeli strike targeted a Hamas-controlled building in the Gaza city of Beit Lahiya. Additional strikes were reported on a six-story Hamas-run civil administration building in northern Gaza, a Hamas base near Khan Younis, a site near Gaza City, and agricultural fields allegedly housing underground rocket launchers in southern Gaza.
There were no immediate reports of Palestinian injuries, TOI further reported.
The raids were also meant to serve as a threat to Hamas of Israel’s willingness to conduct further strikes if attacks persist.
“Earlier this evening, the chief of staff held a situational assessment in which he ordered a higher level of preparedness and for the IDF to make preparations for a variety of scenarios including a resumption of fighting in response to continued terrorist activities from the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.
The military added that it held Hamas responsible for all violence coming from the Strip and would “continue to destroy the terror group’s capabilities and infrastructure.”
On May 21, a ceasefire regime between Israel and the Gaza Strip took effect. Israel and Hamas concluded 11 days of fighting during which hundreds of rockets were launched from both Israel and Palestine sides. According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, 253 Palestinians were killed during the fighting, including 66 children, while 13 Israelis, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier, were killed.