IDF Targets Hamas Operative’s Car in Gaza, Rockets Launched Into Israel
Israeli aircraft and a tank struck a vehicle belonging to an operative of the Islamist Hamas faction that rules the Gaza Strip, as terrorists launched rockets into Israel, the Israeli military said on Wednesday.
Local residents in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip said nobody had been hurt when the car exploded in a ball of flames. A picture posted on social media showed a fireball in an alleyway said to be the car that had been hit.
A statement by the Israeli military said the car had belonged to a terrorist “heavily involved in launching arson and explosive balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israel.” Two Hamas observation posts were also hit, it added.
In recent weeks, Palestinians have sent kites and helium-filled balloons dangling coal embers or burning rags across the Gaza border to set fire to arid farmland and forests, and others have carried small explosive devices in a new tactic.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum in Gaza said Israel’s targeting of the car had “merited a quick response” in the firing of the rockets and showed armed factions were ready to “defend our people and protect their interests.”
Iron Dome interceptors were launched at three out of the 13 rockets that terrorists had fired, an IDF spokeswoman said.
No casualties and no damage were reported in Israel after air-raid sirens sounded in communities near the Gaza border in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday.
Israel has accused Hamas of stoking violence in an attempt to deflect domestic opinion from Gaza’s energy shortages and faltering economy.