Israel hits Gaza with air strikes after rocket fire

No deaths or injuries reported in overnight attacks on blockaded Palestinian territory

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Israel’s air force has said it carried out overnight air strikes against Hamas in Gaza after a rocket was fired from the Palestinian enclave towards Israeli territory.

The Israeli army reported the rocket on Saturday, the first such launch in a month.

Israeli forces said the air strikes were against an arms factory and an underground tunnel belonging to Hamas. The military said more projectiles were fired across the border while Israeli warplanes were hitting the Gaza sites.

No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rocket, which landed in an open area near the Gaza-Israel fence.

The border has been quiet since August’s three-day blitz between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a powerful Gaza militant group.

Islamic Jihad had threatened to retaliate after Israeli troops killed two of its leaders in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.

"In response to the rocket fired toward Israeli territory, IDF fighter jets targeted overnight a weapons manufacturing site belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation," the Israeli army said.

The target was a site "where the majority of the organisation's rockets in the Gaza Strip are being manufactured", it added.

The Israeli military also hit "a Hamas terrorist tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip", it said.

The army said a few hours later it had struck a Hamas military post in response to fire from the Gaza Strip against Israeli warplanes.

The armed wing of Hamas said it used anti-aircraft missiles during an Israeli air raid.

Security sources in Gaza told AFP there were two strikes in the south of the enclave: one against a military training site in Khan Younis and the other in an uninhabited area close to Rafah.

The strikes caused no injuries, according to Palestinian medical sources.

"The Zionist enemy is extending its aggression against our people by brutally bombarding the Gaza Strip, following its crime yesterday of executing the martyr Ammar Mufleh in Huwara," Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said.

Criticism has focused on the killing of the 22-year-old in disputed circumstances in the West Bank town of Huwara, south of Nablus, on Friday.

A surge in violence in the occupied West Bank has sparked international criticism of the Israeli army for its use of lethal force against Palestinian civilians.

At least 145 Palestinians and 26 Israelis have been killed in Israel and the West Bank, including annexed East Jerusalem, this year. This is the heaviest toll since 2015.

In August, at least 49 Palestinians, including combatants but also civilians, were killed in three days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

Hamas and other factions have largely honoured unofficial understandings that have kept the situation in Gaza calm in exchange for thousands of Israeli work permits.

Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade on the impoverished enclave to prevent Hamas from acquiring weapons.

With reporting from agencies

Updated: December 04, 2022, 10:37 AM