Israeli strikes in Gaza after rocket fire

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Early Monday morning, the Israeli air force carried out strikes in the Gaza Strip after rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave towards Israel that failed in the Mediterranean, according to corroborating sources.

“Earlier that night, two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards the coast, near the town of Ashdod. In retaliation, our fighter jets hit military targets, ”the IDF said in a WhatsApp message.

The army had earlier indicated that the rockets had landed in the Mediterranean, near Ashdod, a city located about thirty kilometers north of Gaza, a Palestinian enclave of two million inhabitants controlled by the Islamists of Hamas and under Israeli blockade.

Rocket or incendiary balloon fire from Gaza and Israel’s reprisal strikes against Hamas or Islamic Jihad, the second armed Islamist group in the Palestinian enclave, intervene sporadically.

On Monday, the IDF claimed to have hit “tunnel sites” that could allow Hamas to bypass the Israeli blockade.

The Israeli strikes at dawn instead targeted farmland near Rafah and Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip, a Palestinian security source told AFP.

These strikes “caused material damage, but did not cause injuries,” added this source requesting anonymity.

Last week, the Israeli army announced that it had targeted Hamas positions in the southern tip of Gaza after firing from that territory towards military vehicles on the other side of the hypersecure barrier separating the territory from Israel.

And at the end of December, Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, for the first time carried out joint military exercises in Gaza, including rocket fire into the sea, to mark the anniversary of the 2008 war with Israel. Since that date, Hamas and Israel have fought two more wars, in 2012 and 2014.

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