JERUSALEM – Israeli Air Force jets attacked on Wednesday several facilities of the Palestinian Hamas movement in the northern Gaza Strip with dozens of missiles, in response to a shooting on Tuesday originating from the Gaza Strip towards the Israeli town of Sderot, and other attacks against Israeli soldiers.
“Four of the targets were buildings & terror infrastructure in a military compound, and three more were in a weapons production facility,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
It added that “the strikes were conducted in response to the heavy machine gun fire that targeted the city of Sderot, southern Israel,” located close to the Gaza Strip, and “numerous shooting attacks throughout the day,” on Tuesday.
“Hamas is solely responsible for the events transpiring in and out of Gaza, and is accountable for all terrorist activity emanating from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians,” the Israeli military said, adding that it is “prepared to continue fulfilling its mission to ensure Israeli civilians’ security.”
Tension in the Gaza Strip has escalated since Palestinian protesters started the so-called Great March of Return on March 30, and in response to the US Embassy being moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, which resulted in 60 Palestinian protesters killed by Israeli fire that day and the next two, bringing the total number of fatalities to 110 since the demonstrations began on March 30.
Israel said the protests were not peaceful, adding they were disturbances orchestrated by Hamas to tear down the border fence and enter Israel to commit attacks. It also accused at least 24 Palestinian who died on Monday of being “terrorists with documented terror backgrounds.”
A prominent member of Hamas acknowledged Thursday that the majority of those killed belong to his movement, but the official spokesperson of the movement denied this, saying they were civilians.