Israel launched airstrikes against several “terrorist” targets in Gaza on Thursday morning, hours after a rocket fired from the area was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.
“The IDF is currently striking in Gaza,” the Israel Defense Forces confirmed in a tweet around 3 am on Thursday morning. About 30 minutes later it shared some details about the targets of the raid, claiming that
“IDF fighter jets struck a production site for raw chemical material production, along with a weapon manufacturing site belonging to the Hamas Terrorist Organization.”
There were no immediate reports of casualties, but video clips circulating on social media purportedly showed several explosions in central Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated areas.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Israeli military intercepted one rocket fired from the strip, and missile warning sirens reportedly blared again in Sderot and nearby towns shortly before the overnight strikes. Last Friday, several rockets fired from Gaza into Israel also triggered retaliatory strikes against Hamas targets.
“The IDF holds Hamas responsible for all terrorism activity emanating from Gaza and it will face the consequences of the security violations against Israel,” the military added.
The latest flare-up of violence comes after Israeli security forces raided the Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the West Bank last Thursday, killing ten Palestinians, according to local authorities. Israeli officials said the army intended to arrest terrorist suspects, who opened fire and were killed.
On Friday night, seven people were killed and three more injured outside of a synagogue in East Jerusalem, before the gunman, a 21-year-old Palestinian, was killed by police. In another incident in the city’s Silwan neighborhood just hours later, a 13-year-old Palestinian attacker was “neutralized” by two armed civilians who carried licensed guns.