Israel strikes Gaza tunnels after rocket attacks

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel‘s Air Force struck three Gaza smuggling tunnels after a Kassam rocket and at least six mortar shells struck southern Israel.

Wednesday afternoon’s attack on the smuggling tunnels in the Rafah border area with Egypt is in response to the firing of rockets and mortar shells at southern Israeli communities, according to the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson’s office.

A Kassam rocket landed near Ashkelon Wednesday morning and did not cause any damage, according to reports.

Hamas claimed responsibility for three of the mortar shells that landed Wednesday morning. Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, said in a statement that it fired the mortars to repel Israeli soldiers attempting to enter Palestinian territory in east Gaza, Ynet reported.

It marked the third time since April 30 that Israel has come under attack, ending a two-week lull in attacks from Gaza. Wednesday’s attacks also came a day after Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal told The New York Times that his organization had stopped firing rockets on Israel.

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