Jerusalem/Gaza, July 5 (EFE).- Palestinian militias in Gaza launched five rockets into Israel on Wednesday morning, to which the Israeli forces responded with airstrikes on two military installations of the Hamas militant group, which rules the enclave.
“Fighter jets attacked an underground site for the production of weapons that is used by the chemistry department of the terrorist organization Hamas and a site for the production of raw materials for the organization’s rockets,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.
The IDF said that the rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted by its air defense systems.
“This attack constitutes an injury to the ability of the terrorist organization Hamas to strengthen and arm itself,” it added.
The strike on Gaza comes just hours after Israeli troops began to withdraw from the Jenin refugee camp, where they launched a massive military operation early Monday, deploying over 1,000 soldiers in the aerial and ground offensive, the largest in the West Bank since the Second Intifada uprising (2000-2005).
Twelve Palestinians and an Israeli soldier have died in the operation.
However, no group has claimed the rocket launches, which triggered alarms in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, where a house suffered minor damage from shrapnel from an intercepted rocket.
A five-day escalation between Israeli security forces and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad paramilitary organization in May left 34 people dead in Gaza and two in Israel.
The Israeli army said on Tuesday night that some of its troops were leaving the Jenin refugee camp, considered a stronghold for Palestinian militants and from where operates the Jenin Brigade, a collection of fighters from all Palestinian militant factions.
However, during the withdrawal, which is still ongoing, sporadic clashes broke out with the militants and IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the operation would not be considered completed until all its troops had left the camp.
“A non-commissioned officer in combat service was killed by live fire during the operation against terrorist infrastructure in the Jenin Camp this evening,” the IDF said.
By early Wednesday, some residents of the Jenin refugee camp had begun returning to their homes after some 3,000 were evacuated during the operation to flee the violence that has plagued the camp, especially in the last year.
This year has been the deadliest in the Palestine-Israel conflict since the Second Intifada. EFE