Israeli jets strike Hamas site after bullet 'from Gaza Strip' hits building

Army says it carried out inquiry after projectile found in Netiv Haasara community

Palestinian workers clear the rubble of a building destroyed by an Israeli air strike in in Gaza city. Israel launched strikes on a Hamas position on Monday after what it said was gunfire from the Gaza Strip. AFP
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Israel launched strikes on a Hamas position in the Gaza Strip on Monday after gunfire from the Palestinian enclave, its army said on Tuesday.

"Following the firing of a bullet from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] is currently striking a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip," the Israeli Army said in a statement.

It said on Twitter that "fighter jets" were carrying out the strikes.

"Earlier today [Tuesday], a bullet was found in the community of Netiv Haasara," the army statement said, referring to an Israeli agricultural community adjacent to Gaza's northern border.

"After an inquiry, it was found that the bullet hit an industrial building earlier today after being fired from the Gaza Strip."

A witness in Gaza's Beit Hanoun area told AFP they saw a number of strikes on a security site controlled by Hamas, the militant group that rules the enclave.

The latest attacks come after Israeli warplanes targeted a Hamas site in the Gaza Strip at the weekend in response to rocket fire from the enclave, the military said.

Israeli air strikes hit Gaza city - in pictures

That exchange of fire came hours after US President Joe Biden had visited Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem condemned Saturday's strikes, which the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said caused no injuries.

Israel announced late on Saturday that it was suspending a decision to increase the number of permits granted for Gazans to work in the Jewish state.

The quota was raised before Mr Biden's visit by 1,500, allowing 15,500 Gazan workers into Israel.

Impoverished Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, has been under Israeli blockade since 2007 when Iran-backed Hamas seized power from the secular Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Sunday that Israel would respond "quickly, forcefully and without hesitation" to any fire from Gaza.

Lapid warns Hezbollah over aggression

Mr Lapid paid an unannounced visit to the border with Lebanon on Tuesday, threatening to unleash a harsh military response to what he described as “unacceptable” aggression by Lebanon's Hezbollah group.

The visit came at a time of heightened tension with Hezbollah, a heavily armed group that fought Israel during a month-long war in 2006.

On Monday, Israel said it intercepted a drone that crossed from Lebanese territory. Last week, Hezbollah’s leader threatened Israel with military escalation if a dispute over a maritime border is not resolved in Lebanon’s favour.

“Israel is prepared to act against any threat,” said Mr Lapid, who took over as Israel’s caretaker prime minister on July 1.

“We have no interest in escalation but Hezbollah’s aggression is unacceptable and is liable to lead the entire region into an unnecessary escalation.”

He was joined by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and high-ranking military officials as he toured the area.

Updated: July 19, 2022, 4:36 PM
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