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December 31, 2017 10:44 am

Israel Strikes Hamas Targets in Response to Rocket Fire, Says Iran Inciting War

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Rocket launchers in Gaza. Photot: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – The Israeli Air Force struck Hamas terror targets in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday night in Israel’s second response to three rockets that were fired from the coastal territory towards the Jewish state on Friday.

The Israeli military strikes occurred just before midnight, according to an official IDF statement. After conducting the retaliatory strikes, the IDF stated that Iran is inciting a new war between Gaza-based Palestinian terror groups and Israel. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the three rockets fired from Gaza were supplied by Iran.

“Israel views Hamas as responsible for any firing at us from the Gaza Strip,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday during his security cabinet meeting. “Since we destroyed the terrorist tunnel that penetrated into our territory several weeks ago, the IDF has attacked approximately 40 Hamas targets including an additional attack by the air force last night.”

Saturday night’s airstrikes came after the IDF hit Hamas terror targets in Gaza on Friday in an initial response to the three rockets fired at southern Israel. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted two of the rockets, but the third rocket struck Israel, landing in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council and damaging the entrance to a building.

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The rocket launch from Gaza came amid a ceremony marking the 24th birthday of slain Israeli soldier Oron Shaul, who was killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and whose body is currently being held by Hamas.

Rocket fire from Gaza has been on the rise since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Dec. 6.

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