Israeli warplanes launched a series of airstrikes over the Palestinian city of Gaza on Sunday night, as retaliation after a rocket was fired from within Gaza into the southern Israeli city of Sderot.
The attacks come hours after an indiscriminate rocket bombing from an unknown (as of yet) group in the Palestinian territory on Israeli citizens. The rocket caused no injuries or damage in Sderot, where it landed in a residential area, police said according to Reuters.
“In response to the rocket attack from the Gaza Strip, the IAF (Israeli Air Force) and tanks targeted two Hamas posts in the northern Gaza Strip. When terrorists in Hamas’ Gaza Strip, driven by a radical agenda based on hatred, attack people in the middle of the summer vacation, their intentions are clear – to inflict pain, cause fear and to terrorize,” said Israeli army spokesperson Peter Lerner.
More than 30 sites belonging to Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian militant groups were hit by Israeli airstrikes. The Palestinian ministry of health announced through one of their social media accounts that more than 5 people, among them a 17 year old Palestinian received wounds during IDF’s strikes in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
“We hold (Israel) responsible for the escalation in the Gaza Strip and we stress that its aggression will not succeed in breaking the will of our people and dictate terms to the resistance,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.
According to Reuters, Hamas has vowed to keep digging tunnels in the Gaza Strip with the purpose to infiltrate Israel, and while the leaders of the organisation say they don’t seek a war with Israel, the tunnels are considered a strategic asset in a possible full-scale conflict.
The Gaza Strip is under Hamas control since 2007, and in the past years Israel has held the islamist organisation responsible for all attacks originating in the coastal enclave of Gaza. During 2014, one of the recent bloodier years, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed. Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel were killed by rockets and attacks by Hamas and other militant groups.