Israeli Air Force hits Hamas sites in retaliatory strikes


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Air Force struck four Hamas sites in Gaza following a rocket attack from the strip on southern Israel, the Israeli military said.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted at least one rocket over the port city of Ashdod fired late Monday night, the Israel Defense Forces said. No damage or injuries were reported.

The rocket, reported to be a long-range Grad-style rocket, was the first projectile to be fired from Gaza at Ashdod since last summer’s Gaza conflict with Israel.

Israel’s strikes on Tuesday morning hit the Hamas terror infrastructure, according to the IDF, which holds Hamas responsible for activity emanating from Gaza.

“The IDF will not tolerate any fire into Israel’s territory by terror groups and will continue to respond severely to any attempt to disturb the peace in the south. The terrorist organization Hamas is responsible,” the IDF said in a statement.

The Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, a Salafist group affiliated with the Islamic State, reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack in posts on social media, saying it was in response to the killing last week of a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint in Hebron. Troops manning the checkpoint said the woman, 18, tried to stab soldiers there; the claim has been disputed by a Palestinian eyewitness.

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