Israel responds to rocket fire with Gaza air strikes

Mourners in the village of Deir Nizam, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, at the funeral of 17-year-old Palestinian Musab Firas al-Tamimi yesterday. The teenager was killed during clashes with the Israeli army a day earlier.
Mourners in the village of Deir Nizam, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, at the funeral of 17-year-old Palestinian Musab Firas al-Tamimi yesterday. The teenager was killed during clashes with the Israeli army a day earlier.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JERUSALEM • Israeli air strikes have targeted a site in the Gaza Strip during a night-time raid, in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave.

An Israeli military spokesman, in a statement, said: "In response to the projectiles fired at southern Israeli communities on Wednesday from the Gaza Strip, Israeli Air Force fighter jets targeted a significant terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip."

No injuries were reported but no further details were given on what was hit during the raids, which took place on Wednesday night and during the early hours of yesterday.

Security sources in Gaza said empty land, located east of Rafah city, in the southern Gaza Strip, was targeted in a bid to avoid casualties.

The strike came after three mortars were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Wednesday, causing no injuries or damage.

The Israeli spokesman said the military will "continue to use all means at its disposal, above and below ground, to thwart attempts to attack the citizens of Israel".

Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired at least 20 rockets or mortar rounds at Israel since United States President Donald Trump's controversial Dec 6 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

At least six of these rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system. No Israelis have been wounded by the rocket fire so far.

The projectiles are often fired by fringe radical Islamist groups, but Israel holds Hamas - Gaza's militant rulers - responsible for any attacks from the territory, and retaliates by targeting Hamas positions.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2018, with the headline 'Israel responds to rocket fire with Gaza air strikes'. Print Edition | Subscribe