Israel strikes Gaza in wake of rocket barrage from Lebanon
Jerusalem, Apr 7 (EFE).- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched airstrikes on Gaza early Friday hours after 34 rockets were fired into Israeli territory from Lebanon.
The attacks targeted two tunnels and two weapons factories belonging to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, the military said in a statement.
“The strikes were carried out in response to Hamas’ security violations in recent days,” the IDF said, referring to earlier rocket attacks from Gaza and Thursday major rocket barrage from Lebanon.
“The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for all terror activities emanating from the Gaza Strip and it will face the consequences of the security violations against Israel,” the statement said.
Hezbollah militia controls the southern region of Lebanon, but media outlets reported that Palestinian armed groups operating from refugee camps there were behind Thursday’s attack from Lebanese soil.
The rockets from Gaza and Lebanon came in response to incidents at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
On successive days, Israeli police stormed the sanctuary, using tear gas and stun grenades against Palestinian worshippers midway through the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
More than 30 people were injured and 350 others detained.
Five of the 34 rockets launched from Lebanon fell on Israeli territory and 25 were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, the IDF said.
Three people in northern Israel suffered injuries, according to emergency medical service Magen David Adom.
Palestinian security sources in Gaza spoke of “intensive bombardments” by Israeli warplanes in the wee hours of Friday.
There was no mention of casualties.
The Joint Military Operations Room, comprising officers of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinian groups, said that the militias were “ready to confront any Israeli attack.”
Israeli media reported that air-raid sirens were sounding in parts of southern Israel bordering Gaza after Palestinians launched rockets in reaction to the IDF strikes.
More than 15 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel Wednesday and Thursday. One hit a factory in the city of Sderot while the rest were either intercepted or fell in empty areas.