Retaliating Israel targets Gaza rocket launchers

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli Air Force targeted two concealed rocket launchers in northern Gaza hours after a mortar attack from the coastal strip.

A statement Thursday from the Israel Defense Forces did not say if the launchers were destroyed by its aircraft.

On Thursday morning, Palestinians fired two mortars from central Gaza into Israel, the IDF said. The mortars were aiming for Israeli soldiers patroling the border area, according to Ynet.

“Launching rockets against Israel and its civilians is a breach of our sovereignty,” said IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. “We maintain the right to operate against those who are involved in terror.”

Islamic Jihad later claimed responsibility for for firing four mortars at Israel from Gaza.

The mortar fire occurred on the first anniversary of Pillar of Defense, the Israeli army operation in Gaza launched to stop frequent rocket strikes on southern Israel.

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